American Hero


Idaho poet Bruce Embree captures my feelings about the recent national obsession with the discovery that Tiger Woods’ sex game is every bit the equal of his golf game.

American Hero

Jeany and I went out to dinner last night
the food was good
We overheard a man who had really been up
against it and had somehow come out to the good
“The ball was almost completely covered in sand
but I played a wedge and came out
six feet from the pin”
He slouched back in his chair like the old vet
recalling the Jap machine gun he took out

I was splitting firewood this morning
when Brigham the pup got run over
He just looked at me with his busted jaw
eyes already going funny
The animal doctor
will call if he don’t come out of shock

The mad old ayatollah
sends kids up against mines and tanks

The silent millions die
cutting timber, digging ditches in Siberia

You can drive along the freeway in El Paso
look across the border to shack town
where kids die for lack of water
in the hundred degree sun

These kind of bad movies
are without end
list goes on and on
but don’t you think there is something magnificent
uniquely American
Yes in a man standing alone
against it all
with his sand wedge?

-from Pacific Northwestern Spiritual Poetry, Charles Potts ed. Tsunami, Walla Walla, 1998, p. 102

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