You’ve seen the flicks
with the blasted hero, hunkering
in the foxhole
bleeding into black
and white, clenched teeth promising
the camera at least he’ll take one
of them with him.

All of us
injured by birth, labor,
marriage, vowing
to lead somebody else
into the ground.

Lord, when I’m about
to go under, let me
swear instead
to leave one behind.

Gilbert Allen has lived in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, and taught at Furman University, since 1977. His three collections of verse are, In Everything (Lotus, 1982), Second Chances (Orchises, 1991), and Commandments at Eleven (Orchises, 1994). His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Able Muse, The Cortland Review, Free Lunch, The Georgia Review, Image, Quarterly West, and The Southern Review.

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