C.N. Bean

The Fall, Ramstein-Miesenbach

Evil was not far behind
with metal teeth that grabbed my foot
and yanked my mom from my arms

to throw me on the hard road.
She circled back to my cries
and my bloody left ankle.

At the Ramstein Hospital
I got bandaged up and had pain
killer in grape-laced syrup.

I learned to walk on crutches
while Mom went to deliver
a new baby sister Sue

and Rick babysat at home
until he caught a cold
which my father ridiculed

a momma’s boy after all
then repented when the cold
turned to full-blown pneumonia.

Rick went to the hospital
and slept in a plastic tent.
The doctors said he would die

but thirty days of tent air
saved him, and Dad decided
to become a minister.

On a Road Near Bad Kreuznach

On a country road near Bad Kreuznach, Germany
I saw a tall, lanky chimney sweep walking home.

He looked lonely, almost sad

in his stovepipe hat to leather boots soot of grime
that no amount of scrubbing could cleanse from his hands,

stubbled face and even eyes

though he stopped and smiled when I walked up and touched him
as he propped his broom stick in the dust, bristles up

and let me take his good luck.

C. N. Bean is a published writer and currently serves on the English faculty of Virginia Tech University. He has appeared in several literary magazines.

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