Steve Barichko

veteran’s day


the japanese have a word for disused paper moon


which we translate sunrise which my grandfather brought back


from the war and used with such disdain


the way some families reminisce at picnics during the volleyball game


mine has quieter anecdotes


did you ever see him


stand in the den before sunrise with his pistol


not pointed at anything


remember when he brought home a puppy


then locked himself in the bedroom


plenty of people other than me found him in tears


at the kitchen table mumbling about boys


who take entire grown men away


he used to say you can’t hate anything


you don’t really love and i wonder


whether there is one word for that


 

Steve Barichko is from Terryville, CT. His work has most recently appeared in the Aurora spring anthology. He is a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee. Find him on Insta and Twitter @stevebarichko.