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By Rachel Galvin

For Joseph Flum

When he got to the farmhouse, he rifled through

the cabinets, drawers, and cupboards,

and his buddies did too. The place was abandoned,

or so he thought, and his buddies did too.

He tried to talk to people in town, and his buddies did too,

but he was the only one whose Yiddish made it

across into German. They took his meaning.

He, in the farmhouse, took a camera and a gun,

but his buddies, who knows. About the gun,

it’s also hard to say, but after the war he took up

photography, why not, and shot beautiful women

for years. Got pretty good at it, and how.

Won prizes and engraved plates, put them in a drawer, forgot

the war, forgot his buddies, forgot the women, forgot the drawer.


The epigraph of this poem was originally omitted in the changeover to the new website. Because of this, reciting the epigraph is optional for the 2019-2020 Poetry Out Loud season.

  • Activities
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living

Poet Bio

Rachel Galvin
Rachel Galvin is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago.

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