Poem – NG (By John Stanizzi)


NG21028982 – My National Guard Service Number




I remember from an early age that

when she wasn’t cursing, my mother chose

NG – the car was NG, NG the

refrigerator, my father, and me.

And so in ’67, when fear and

guilt masqueraded as angry conscience,

and I managed to finagle my way

out of the draft, I knew without a doubt

exactly what it meant to be NG.

In among the U.S. boys, the R.A.s,

I was the kid who would be going home.

No bullet filled mist, just the hum of the

morning traffic, the cool fall shadows, and

life in my lungs because I was NG.


Author Bio: John L. Stanizzi

John L. Stanizzi is the author of the collections Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, and Hallalujah Time!, and High Tide – Ebb Tide. John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Rust+Moth, Tar River Poetry, Rattle, Passages North, The Spoon River Quarterly, Poet Lore, Hawk & Handsaw, and many others. John’s work has also been translated into Italian and appeared in Italy’s El Ghibli, and in the Journal of Italian Translations Bonafinni. His translator is the poet, Angela D’Ambra. His next full-length collection, Sundowning, will appear in 2018, published by Finishing Line Press. A former New England Poet of the Year, John has read at many venues throughout the northeast, including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. He teaches literature in an adjunct capacity at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and I live with my wife, Carol, in Coventry.

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