THE MUSEUM ISSUE
The fading labels were the museum’s
chief attraction. It helped when they fell off.
Then memory or imagination brought
A mummy was my great-uncle Clemons.
Tourists stared as my buddy and I talked
of wars and plagues their high schools never taught,
though vital to the progress of mankind.
When I last went through, new labels were there,
with new lighting, sound, and touch-screen movies,
quite frenzied in an interactive way,
and often wrong enough to make me stare.
We were such amateurs, my friend and I,
to love history enough to simply lie.
M. A. Schaffner has poetry recently
published or forthcoming in Stand (UK), the Beloit Poetry
Journal, Poet Lore, and The North (UK). He has
also authored the collection, The Good Opinion of Squirrels
(Word Works, 1997) and the novel, War Boys (Welcome Rain, 2002).
When not writing, Schaffner works as a civil servant in Washington.
Published in Volume
10, Number 1, Winter 2009.
Read more by this author:
on Ambrose Bierce:
M.A. Schaffner: Poets in Federal Government Issue