Ann Neuser Lederer

Changeling

A wrinkled photo of sibs stares me down.
I wear a hat and pearls.
I’m tired of writing me.
I’d rather make notes on that other lady,
the one in the mirror who breaks out in tears
at the drop of a hat.
Again, I tell about soldiers playing soccer
Christmas eve, their truce, their brandy & songs.
But battle resumed at dawn.
A guitar in the hospital lobby trills,
something about an empty hearth.
A couple of geezers stand and watch.
A young’un holds her smartphone up, recording.
I cry up the stairs, hope nobody sees.
I too will never go home. And
and . . .the thought of those tiny children,
shot up at their school.
Just the thought of that.

***

Ann Neuser Lederer’s publications appear in anthologies such as “A Call to Nursing,” and “Pulse: More Verses;” in journals such as Diagram, Passages North, Brevity, and UCity Review, who recently chose ten poems for its “noteworthy” section. Her chapbooks include Fly Away Home (2019), Weaning the Babies (2007), and The Undifferentiated (2003). Born in Ohio, Ann has worked there and in surrounding states as a Registered Nurse.

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