Saturday, 28 July 2012


creates and severs
the tethers that hold us together.

Yesterday, a man told me
his father was driven crazy
by doctors locking him
in a dark room for thirty days --
He touched no one for thirty days;

                never could touch anyone again,
                only pee in the corners of their rooms
                as if the lights were still off.

Today, a man told me
his son was shot by a different man –
in the neck – with many others
who did not expect smoke
or flashes illuminating smoke
in a dark room full… full…full.

This other man’s friends could not be located.
This other man’s family was far away;

                he could not touch anyone with
                his fingers so busy on booby-traps;
                writing long sentences with no periods,
                as if in a cabin out in the woods --
                nowhere near a pond.

E R Olsen writes poetry and practices law in Nevada, in the U.S., where he lives with his wife and four children. His poems have appeared in several U.S. journals, most recently in Viking.