Eating Glass

The first time I saw
a preschool kid
(Do they have schools here?)
smoking a cigarette I
just stood and stared

Mama-sans squatting
to pee along the road
never drew a second glance
But a child casually smoking
was hard for me to unsee

For a month I had a
reoccurring dream of
a smoking toddler a
circus performer eating glass
and a ward filled with

Thalidomide babies
But after about
four weeks the dream
became a memory of
a dream of a memory

‘Eating Glass’ can be found in Bill’s poetry book, The Smell of Light, taken from letters he wrote home from Vietnam and can be found here.

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About the Author

Bill McCloud’s poetry book, The Smell of the Light: Vietnam, 1968-1969 (Balkan Press), reached #1 on the "Oklahoma Best-Sellers" List (The Oklahoman). Most recently his poems have appeared in Oklahoma Today, Oklahoma English Journal, NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal, Tejascovido, and The Coronameron. He has a poem in the new anthology Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush: The Poetry of Oklahoma (TJMF Publishing), edited by Ron Wallace. Counted among the fans of his poetry are songwriters Graham Nash and Jimmy Webb.

Bill McCloud
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