Poem Hunter
.22) When The Dentist Spoke At The Anti-War Rally
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.22) When The Dentist Spoke At The Anti-War Rally

We had a dentist speak
at the anti-war rally
that we organized
in the summer of 1968,

we young men
home from college,
trying to legitimize ourselves
in the eyes of our parents
even as we turned activist.

We held a car wash
to raise funds.
When I wrote articles
about the war, I quoted
businessmen, as though
they were the only real gauge
of decent humanity.

I grew my hair a little,
and for a few months once
had a stubble beard,
until my cousin spat
venom at me
at the hospital
as we were waiting
for Grandpa to die,
shouting with hate-filled eyes,
'You look like a fairy! '

Mother said one day
that summer,
'I don't care what you do,
as long as you don't
look like what you are! '
and I'm still wondering
what she meant.

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Comments (2)

Max, think what a different twist this poem would have if the last line was, 'I'm still understanding what she meant'...
So beautiful. I love your writing style too.