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Site design: Skeleton

Sample Poems by Lenard D. Moore


Elk, Circa 1902

Strong is the man, standing,
knees kept straight
in sharp-creased pants.
Where he stands a line of light
falls into the growing silence.
Medallions pinned
on the uniform. Sash drapes
over his shoulder.
Wide belt around his waist,
brass buckle shining like sunglow,
and a sword hangs from his hip.
White-gloved, his hands hang open,
massive, against the coat.
Crowning his head
a hat,
white plumes
reaching sunflowers.


The Soldier

The photograph’s subject now aged
through time’s ripening; decades later
the background gray,
a dream.

Splendid in uniform,
the barrel-straight stare
of his pure black face
shines like a bullet.

Imagine he’d not returned
from the Great War,
leaving a void in his family,
and in this picture.


Beyond Black

Black goes beyond your shaven jaw,
your tweed coat,

the twisted tie.

Scarred valleys furrow your face.
Reflected in your eyes,

the lynchings of the twenties.

Why are you alone?
The possibilities go

beyond this photograph.


This Black Man

The black felt hat trimmed with wide ribbon
cools on his left leg.
His tight tweed coat is fastened
over yoke of his white shirt and thin tie.
He waits, sheened as a leaf.


A Contrast of Two Lives

Albert looks like my next-door cousin,
who used to smack a baseball
clean out the park.
Unlike my uniformed cousin,
Albert wears a doublebreasted suit.
Head trimmed closely,
his eyes glitter
as if kin stamped pride
in them.
My cousin’s roots
spread through earth
in our blooming hometown,
but Albert waits branchless
in a browning field.