Christopher Wrote a Poem Today about a Woman with Stigmata

(for Christopher Stephen Soden)

My friend Christopher the poet
told me he wrote a poem today
about a woman with stigmata
But he is frequently an unreliable
narrator and could well just be
messing with me again

I’m watching a report on television
about a young woman who has
gone missing from a small town
in America from small-town America
and authorities say the reward is now
all the way up to two thousand bucks
That’s a hundred dollars twenty times
by my figuring as I also note that they
point out they are searching corn fields

Stopped at a red light the girl in my
rear-view mirror is slapping the steering
wheel with both hands and obviously
singing at the top of her lungs singing
loudly and proudly as she thrusts out
her chin and belts out loud verses of
silence that can only be heard by people
who are used to cleaning up any and all
evidence of appearances of stigmata

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Bill McCloud

Bill McCloud, a three-time Teacher of the Year, has been teaching American history since 1974. His new book, The Smell of the Light: Vietnam, 1968-1969, published by the Balkan Press, consists of 107 poems that take the reader, chronologically, through his year in Vietnam. David Willson, poetry editor of the VVA Veteran says the poems rank “right at the top of the heap” of Vietnam War poetry. Dr. Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, the current poet laureate of Oklahoma, calls the book “necessary reading.”

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