Colleen M. Farrelly


A blanked pulled tight over rags
the figure curled up,
asleep on subway seats.

Beetle Bailey’s War

When “A” Company went to Peshawar,
Ole Beetle caught a bullet in the butt,
and they sent him home to dear Miss Buxley.

Cosmo went to three packs a day—nerves shot
after tour number four—cursing the day
that “A” Company went to Peshawar.

Sarge took shrapnel in the shins near Khyber
Pass, finished out at Walter Reed,
and they sent him home to dear Miss Buxley.

Killer’s wife couldn’t ease his pain, but his
Colt erased the scenes his mind replayed from
when “A” Company went to Peshawar.

When the mess took indirect fire, grenades
peppered poor Cookie’s last spaghetti pot,
and they sent him home to dear Miss Buxley.

Years later, General Fuzz pauses, then
speaks on the crisis in Chad, recalling
when “A” Company went to Peshawar,
and how war sent them home to Miss Buxley.

Portrait of Hope

Ugly spray-painted slogans scar the boarded-up building, pock-marks left by the disease of hate. The doctor opens his black bag and rummages for his tools: stencils, cans, and sketches. He preps his supplies under streetlight and performs plastic surgery on his patient‘s imperfections, precisely excising tissues marred by bullets and lovingly covering the salvaged surface with a portrait of hope.

Colleen M. Farrelly © 2014