The Disarmed Heart – Susan McCaslin

The Disarmed Heart

People arrive at a nuclear site
to dismantle various missiles
and other weapons of mass destruction

Hands gently and tenderly
peel away pieces of a shield
from a large, viscous red heart

until a bit of the thundering organ
starts to show (just barely) beneath
the heavy apparatus

All you can see are hands of all sizes
and colours and shapes
moving over the encased drum

More and more of the fleshy heart
stirs underneath as the hands
continue their work

At last, except for a few pieces of bronze
that resemble armour plates, the heart
lies wholly exposed, thrumming

as the palms fall away

Susan McCaslin is a Canadian poet and Faculty Emeritus of Douglas College in Westminster, BC where she taught English and Creative Writing for twenty-three years. She is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011). The latter was a finalist in 2012 for the BC Book Prize (Dorothy Livesay Award) and the first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award (Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award). Susan has recently published a volume of essays, Arousing the Spirit: Provocative Writings (Wood Lake Books, 2011). She has edited two anthologies and is on the editorial board of Event: the Douglas College Review. She

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