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October 12, 1986, Reykjavik

for Ronald Reagan


Under northern lights, you met the other man

in a poet’s house; two cordial statesmen

discussed the fates of inherited empires, of your peoples, of all the rest. What on earth

was left to debate? How on earth could you

have looked into the sky above Höfði –

into neons, greens, goldens, hues and blues –

and seen anything but the need to preserve

that reflection of the light in our magnets, a pull

toward each other, not war’s burning reds and oranges?

How could you have? How on earth did you – oh grand courageous leader, you extra

famous broad-shouldered oaf, you ogre to every

generation of life after you – turn cheek, fly away

through the luminous sky? How could you

have left there and chosen destruction?


 

Grant Burkhardt

Grant is a poet and writer with work featured in or forthcoming in the Great Lakes Review, Nightingale & Sparrow, Icarus, and others. His poem - 'The Thing About People Knowing You Cook' - is a 2023 Sundress Publications 'Best of the Net' nominee. He’s also one of the Umbrella's poetry editors and non-fiction editors.

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