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Richard Luftig

Richard Luftig is a professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University, in Ohio, now residing in Pomona, CA. He is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi-finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India. One of his published poems was nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Poetry Prize.

The Man on the Beach

He swings his metallic crutch
in long, crescent arcs, a sundial
over the three o’clock sand.

With ears of some long-ago
mastodon, he listens
to each robotic beep

like a probe from deep space,
taking soundings for evidence
of prior dreams: that silver

wedding ring, those antique
earrings, the St. Anthony
medal that has given up

the faith and stayed
lost. Then swooping down,
sifting over the bones,

a vulture picking with purpose
at whatever carrion remains
of now-forgotten lives.

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