For the Wounded



We switched doctors often.

They asked too many questions.

How exactly did you break that arm?


When whacked, my knee never kicked back.

What if it had


with the momentum of apples

falling from the family tree?


The fields of my youth flattened

into burnt cream, curdled

over stripes of mud-pressed hay.


Limbs were swaddled

with blood-stained t-shirts.


Uncles missing thumbs and trigger-fingers—

I remember their rough nubs of scar tissue

tapping my forehead where a priest rubbed ashes.


I lost my father

to what I still don’t know.

Originally from Michigan, Trenton Pollard has worked as a welder, political organizer, graphic designer, and massage therapist. He is a graduate student at Columbia University, where he is the nonfiction editor of Columbia Journal Online. Prior to moving to New York City, he received an MFA in Poetry from North Carolina State University. He has work forthcoming in Denver Quarterly,Lambda Literary, and elsewhere. You can follow him on Twitter @trenton_pollard.