“An Unforgotten Path,” “From Athens to Tellico, Tennessee ” and “An Assault Rifle Ode”

Issue 40 by Mervyn R. Seivwright

“An Unforgotten Path,” “From Athens to Tellico, Tennessee ” and “An Assault Rifle Ode”

An Unforgotten Path

November 18, 1987: “Fire at King's Cross Underground station leaves 31 dead”

The worst fire in the history of the London Underground killed 31 people and injured more than 100 when a stray match started a blaze beneath a wooden escalator.

Chas Early, British Telecommunications

31 scorched—one week

before I went home

to London. I was lost.

7 years since I left

my childhood in England.

My father told me

to meet at King’s College,

I arrived at King’s Cross

6 miles away. Accosted

by roses, carnations, lilies,

a meadow of flowers

bunched in yellow, pink,

green crepe-paper bundles

amassed as a river. Baptizing

grouped onlookers, sliding

as snails sunken in pictures.

Memories were weathered

soiled, faded from sun

and rain, rinsing the newness

repeated by mothers,

daughters, sons struggling

to fill the gaps. I struggled

to fill the gaps without

my father, a fragile bond

as the crepe-paper bridging

across a great ocean—not sinking

in pictures of my father, ripping

at minuscule memories to fade.

From Athens to Tellico, Tennessee

In the summer of my late teens my best

friend’s father fathered me on things I thought

men should do. Away in Athens, nested

amidst dogwood trees, fields with lavender

wildflowers, blended in green tinted meadows

in Tennessee. I learned to listen to crickets

build networks where telephones may not ring

often. A neighbor called my best friend’s father’s

father and asked if he had hired help.

Just my Korean grandson and his black best

friend. My best friend’s father spoke about girls,

intimacy while driving on Tellico mountain

roads, as each car passed, he pushed my head down,

shrouded my skin from folks with hatred for brown.

An Assault Rifle Ode

1077 innocent Americans found

blooded end in mass collection.

Assault rifles held by people

with uncontrolled emotions

triggering projectiles.

An assault rifle, merely

a composition of wood,

steel, plastic or iron forged

into a projector to thrust

projectiles in rapid force.

An assault rifle cannot

be personified, no emotions,

not greed, rage, aggression,

vengeance, disgust.

An assault rifle can be an M, XM,

AR, AK, HK, bullpup, forged

by Sturm Ruger, Remington,

Savage, Smith and Wesson,

Mossberg, Heckler and Kock—

two-point-four billion in sales.

Assault rifle sales; influenced

by a country, faction, family,

person’s assault or defense.

An assault rifle does not plan

and organize its constructed

purpose, hard and cold until

inflamed from embrace.

An assault rifle is a tool, held

by people feeling controlled

emotions within the law,

protecting innocent lives

from civil disobedience.

An assault rifle held by a person

I cannot see in a blue sports car

on South Miami street corner

with muzzle pointed at me.

About the Author

Mervyn R. Seivwright

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Mervyn R. Seivwright has appeared or has forthcoming published works in AGNI Literary Magazine, The Trinity Review, African American Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Montana Mouthful Literary Magazine, iō Literary Journal, The Stirling Spoon, The Scribe Literary Journal, Flights Literary Journal, Rigorous Magazine, Prometheus Dreaming Cultural Journal, and Toho Journal. He has received recognition as Second-Runner-Up for Mount Island’s Lucy Terry Prince poetry contest, a Semi-Finalist for the Midwest Review's Poetry Contest, Z Publishing's Kentucky's Best Emerging Poets 2019, and has a poem commissioned by the British Museum, Ipswich, United Kingdom. Mervyn holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University, Louisville KY. He is from Jamaican heritage, born in London, England while he currently lives in Schopp, Germany.