Two Poems

Last Night with Lincoln

Last night I had a microbrew with Lincoln.
He told me a joke about
a slave trader and St. Peter.
I’d never seen Abe that happy,
so when he finished and slapped my back
I expected him to say, No worries,
it’ll all work itself out in the end,
but he didn’t.
Instead he tipped his hat and said,
“Get busy, Len.”


My Brother’s War

He went in thin and clean,
came out bearded and wrecked,
his skin inked with stories of that bloody violence.
Got himself a Harley,
shiny black, pearl-colored.
I took the side car.

We rode through waving wheat and saloon towns,
places where the doors swung at an angle,
roads blocked by cattle or filled with angry dogs.

He stared straight ahead the whole time,
that war he was in a stain,
a skin stitched over his eyes.

—Len Kuntz, Snohomish, WA