Purple Heart by Bruce Michael Foley



for J.D. Senetto, dear friend, and Viet Nam Veteran.

Nothing new, I woke up burning
wanting to puke, reaching for a lonely drop
of unfinished bourbon, left waiting in a shot glass
next to my bed, on a nightstand that serves as
a medicine chest.

Standing with a tilting sway at the window
shifting the curtains along with my sack, squinting
blinded by the bright red-orange ball of delta sun rising,
the one-armed fisherman, Jack, walked past with
his dog, Jake, carrying a box of tackle in his mouth.

Jack lost the arm in 64′, the war, he lived alone
down the road in a trailer park home, hanging
critter pelts on hooks out there on his porch,
wearing teeth on a necklace from an alligator.

Jack could draw a pistol from behind his back
with just one arm, faster than you could spit.
In that jungle, he did two tours, recon, Marine Corps;
kept a handful of medals in a shoebox with a photo
of his dead mother, laid out with a flower.

Soon, I’d join him with a fresh bottle, seeing how
it was a good day for fishing.

indexBruce Michael Foley about Bruce Michael Foley. I was born across the bridge from Boston, Massachusetts, in Cambridge, as July 4th fireworks exploded over the Charles River, just a stone’s throw from Harvard University. At age two, my family moved to Somerville, Ma.,where I was raised in a rough blue-collar environment, playing many sports. In 1998 I relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada. Here, I work among special needs children and teach martial arts. Poetry began in high school, but took off in a more dedicated way in later years, along with resuming music studies, guitar. My poems are published in various anthologies; including Impressions, Prism, and the Mighty Voices Of Thunder Series, sponsored by the international poetry website, “Allpoetry.” I was a featured poet in Lyrical Somerville February 2015, a Boston based publication, as well as being an “Editor’s Front Page Pick,” for the month of March 2016 on Allpoetry. A defining moment that contributed significantly to further interest in writing was a First Place Award from the International Poetry Fellowship, for my poem, “Among Fields of Cotton.” Presently, I am happy to have the opportunity to explore various forms of poetry with Mr. Bruce Isaacson, Poet Laureate of Clark County Nevada.

One Reply to “Purple Heart by Bruce Michael Foley”

  1. Two of the most eloquent and powerful “forms” of poetry are vignettes and tributes, I’ve always thought … and here is yet another example of that particular truth. Good to see your pen moving consistently, my dear friend. I hope the world is being kind to you … and may your efforts always bring forth a fish large enough for two or more.

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