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Summer 2003

In Another Mug Shot

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    The camera picked up
    the light on the plastic
    of my fake leather jacket.
    Also, my hair was too long
    and my mustache
    gave me the shifty look
    often found in mug shots.
    In fact it was a mug shot
    taken in the basement
    of the Hall of Justice
    in 1968—or Injustice
    as we called it. Now,
    it’s almost December
    2002, and I’m getting ready
    to welcome my daughter
    home from college. My hair
    is shorter and my beard
    neatly clipped, but the
    mug shot would come out
    with the same shifty look.
    The change is in something else—
    not in the way I look or
    the suit jacket I’m wearing
    instead of fake leather—
    but in the background
    of the mug shot. Can you
    see it—the war taking shape?
    It shines like a new war,
    like only a new war can.

    —David Salner

    David Salner has worked as a steelworker, machinist, and iron ore miner. His first book of poems was published in 2002 by Pudding House.


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