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David Keplinger

About the Poet

David Keplinger's recent books include The Most Natural Thing, The Prayers of Others, and The Clearing, all from New Issues.

He teaches at American University in Washington, DC. 

Spring 2016 »

Reunion at Manassas

The 88th once lorded here,
The decks of their white tents

Chunked with mud. And down a ladder back in time,
There is still the sound of fire and death.

The dead rise almost never from their sound hole.
They watch a man in uniform (the Other Side)

March with his saber to the drum.
Later, mothers call the children to their dinner.

The man who played The General, running
While bent over, collects small papers in the wind.



A Pair of Glasses

These are folded. They fit into their sheathe
Of hardened leather. They’re too tiny

For myself, even my face, a small face,
A face that can’t grow beards and blushes easy.

But a smaller face than mine
Fit these. These are my childhood’s. They close,

They make a perfect *click*, like calling

On a waiter in the old days. They open and
It is my childhood face.

That was a page-blank world. Here they are in my hands
Having a tantrum like a stubborn little boy:

Their folded arms
Refusing to serve anything.



David Keplinger ~


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