about the author

Tim Gavin is an Episcopal priest, serving as chaplain at The Episcopal Academy, located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. He oversees the school’s partnership program with St. Marc’s School in the Central Plateau of Haiti, which he visits three to four times a year. His poems have appeared in many journals and most recently in The Anglican Theological Review, About Place Journal, Digital Papercut, Screech Owl Review, HEArt On-Line Journal, and Blue Heron Review. He lives with his wife and sons in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

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Things the Cold Cousin Left Behind

Tim Gavin

Black shiny standard-issued boots with one broken lace
And a scuffmark on the left toe. He left a road
That ran through the center of the country
Like a zipper, unfolding commerce and profits. Short
Term. Blood on the ground, leaving the rural peasants
Crying out to God. He left his gun, an empty chamber,
And the idea that might makes right and violence
Wins out. He left a few pregnant women and broken
Young girls who fell into the shadow of womanhood:
Forced upon them, their breasts grew fast with milk
And their bellies rounded a cavern of ruin. An empty
Pack of cigarettes and an empty bottle of rum. He left
Fires within the hearts of the peasants and a towel
Folded over with his own sweat and dirt and finally a kind
Of up in smoke reality while he seeks
Reconciliation long enough to get his boots back.

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