When I see my wife… By Kevin Risner

When I see my wife…

When I see my wife
eyed suspiciously by an agent
at the airport
because of her last name

I want to speak up
yell back: sure
that name is also the name
of a dictator in Syria
not the United States one —

Do you really think
she has something
in her shoe
something she will put together
while up in the air?

I say nothing
we stand and wait
blister with anger.

A name normally from
somewhere over                                  there
elicits fear that there’s some poison
set to ruin our life
to kill perfection and brevity.

Hussein has been conjured
a name that is evil incarnate
so any person with that name
is an imitation of that leader of Iraq
just as evil just as cruel.

And it happens to be
the middle name
of the 44th president.

So no trusting him at all.

I want to say something
and this time I’m going to say something
I’m truly going to
I am
but I say nothing
we open our pockets
take off shoes and then we allow others to
roll their hands up and down our bodies

just in case
just in case
just in case

We are not the random ones chosen;
we opted for the pat-down.

By Kevin Risner


Kevin Risner is a product of Ohio and has lived there for most of his life except for brief stints in England and Turkey. At the present, he resides in the Cleveland area where he is ESL Coordinator at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His poetry can be found in The Mill (University of Toledo), Red Paint Hill, Red Flag Poetry, and Silver Birch Press


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