"Old Home Day"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
July 5 2011 6:51 AM

"Old Home Day"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Barry Goldensohn read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

Some rode in from farms at the edge of town

or flew in from work in the South and West

to gather around the Common, and the kids

lay down their frisbees for the cloud parade

of life as it's always been with nothing to change—

volunteer firemen and ambulance brigade,

the town cop, vets of foreign wars,

some recent ones that snared the world

with bombs, drones, mortars, BARs.

The wars against their own lead the parade,

vets of the Revolution and Civil War, Texas

against Cheyenne,  King Philip's War,

with their flintlocks, muskets, sabers, arrows, bows,

and the band played and the beer flowed like blood

in this sweet town where everyone knows

everyone's public name and secret name

and all their deadand no one locks their doors.

No one stands aside to see.  All join

this unbounded democracy.

Two brothers dead in one campaign

mosey over, AWOL as usual, for beer

and to read their names on the brass plaque again

fixed to an obelisk in the square..


Barry Goldensohn is the author of five books of poetry and a new collection of poems about music forthcoming this summer from Fomite Press.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.