May 29, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AP photo



Sean Kelbley







He should have been here,


Richard Collins III, age 23.


2nd Lieutenant, US Army;


BBA. He only meant


to catch a ride.




Fastest runner in his PTs said


his father, holding the diploma


to his heart, where the son is buried


deeper than a child’s handprint


pressed in wet cement.




Richard’s graduation gown sits heavy-


empty in a chair of honor. Behold:




a monument to all who died


and didn’t know it was in war.






Sean Kelbley

Sean Kelbley

Sean Kelbley lives on a farm in southeastern Ohio, in a house he and his husband built. He works as an elementary school counselor.

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