The Common Good
June 2011

Amputees

by Sarah Browning | June 2011

In our city we see them sometimes.

In our city we see them sometimes,
out for the day with a girlfriend:
new-fangled leg still learning to walk
in a style we call natural. Metal joint
exposed by shorts that flaunt
the terrific other leg, too.

Arms intact, though -- one hand holds
an ice cream cone, the other hand
the girlfriend's hand, as they stroll
jerky across the plaza to the fountain
where they join the other couples --
also bloodied though we may not
know it -- trying not to stare.

Sarah Browning, director of Split This Rock and DC Poets Against the War, is the author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden. She lives in Washington, D.C., home of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

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