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Perimeter of War

Perimeter of War
Our home eventually blew down,
stained planks shattered
under the winds of his panic.

We held our jackets high

over our heads like bright sails

and tried to fly away. He lived
in the propane fumes of his van,

trash collecting under

its axled belly. Each day he called out

to his enemies hunkered behind
the unkempt hedges. Yellow flowers

dared to bloom on those greening branches

at the perimeter of war, our homeless home.

Our small bodies airborne for only moments:
sewn as we were to that darkening battlefield
of our father’s mind.
Tina Carlson is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless. This poem is reprinted from her new book, “Ground, Wind, This Body,” published by University of New Mexico Press.
Credit: Mia Carlson.