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Monday, May 22, 2017

Question and Response


Old Doc Munson
with his years
creased upon his face
had his women's clinic
in the morning shadow
of Hangman's Hill
on the first ring
of the black mountain
hills of Dakota
that splits Rapid City
Some praying protesters
might have wanted
to take him up that hill
Many women thanked him

As a poor young man
in the dirty thirties
Ben Munson
joined the CCC
the Civil Conservation Corps
to support himself
and his family

On his first day
he sought the main office
of the camp at Custer
Walking in
he saw a tall man
in uniform
his feet in boots
upon the desk
Ben had a question
that we don't know
to this day
I'm looking for the head man 
he said

From behind the desk
Lieutenant Frank James Soutar
barked
I'm the man with the big nuts
and so our family
has only one recorded
direct quote
of my grandfather
a man who spoke and wrote
seven languages
including Arabic
a talented engineer
who was said
to have read
every book
in the Rapid City Library

Such were the days
when the government
and its wealthy President
cared about its people
before gross profiteers
before television
before the Internet
before people's heads
were down
on their mobile phones
looking at an idiot's tweets
from the President's bedroom
in the White House
a time when my grandfather
was helping a young man
find his way
into the profession of medicine
to help women
out of the trouble
some men caused


Barry G. Wick







1 comment:

Leon Green said...

100% on target; pithy; genius.