Kent Russell

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Art for Issue 11

Issue 11

Kent Russell

Ryan Went to Afghanistan

My father had been a lieutenant in the Navy. He captained the swift boat that would later become John Kerry’s. His job was to stand apart and instead of a weapon wield his men like materiel. He’s a small man, about five four, thickly built. He likes to joke that they only let him into Vietnam because he’d stuck lollipops under his shoes to seem taller. He rarely wears a shirt, and the sun has cured his skin poreless. He’s horseshoe bald, my father, with one tendril of graying brown hair that lies across his head until he gets upset, whereupon it falls next to his face and flails, always a step behind, like a gymnast’s ribbon.

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