Phillip Calderwood



The months without treatment for my malformed heart,

A shunt at one and again at ten,

The accident on Hesperian, when we hit a hatchback,

And more surgery at eighteen—such a mishmash of arteries,

Clotted blood, and lungs heavy with fluid.


That dream of the masked tribesman who plunged a spear in my throat—

Then the fall at school, down eleven concrete steps,

The punk who punched me to the ground and kept kicking,

The flight I booked in September 2001,

And the Continental that ripped through the crosswalk.


I was listening to songs of train wrecks, of Georgie, Casey,

And that treacherous grade between Lynchburg and Danville,

When two trains crashed on the line I take, killing nine, injuring eighty.

Phillip Calderwood's poems have appeared in The Chabot Review, The Berkeley Text, and A Magazine of Paragraphs.  He is originally from Northern California, where he received undergraduate degrees in English and history from UC Berkeley.  He moved to Maryland in 2004, completed a master's program in history at American University, and now works as an editor and content manager in the District of Columbia.



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