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poetry CNN Report: Rise in Sexual Assault, Reprisals in the Military (2016)

Poet and Army veteran Karen Skolfield sees sexual assault in the military that “no one takes…seriously.”

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CNN Report: Rise in Sexual Assault, Reprisals in the Military (2016)

By Karen Skolfield

It’s not just the stars

these last mornings

I failed to see.

No light pollution.

My flashlight

the walk’s metronome.

Consider how no one takes

the stories of stars seriously

these days. The journalist

asked me what I thought

of my time in the military.

It’s the motion of a deer

that catches my eye,

makes me look back and see

a sunrise I almost missed.

Blazing and violent,

and once it’s gone,

no evidence it ever existed.

CNN Report: Rise in Sexual Assault, Reprisals in the Military (2016)” reprinted from Battle Dress: Poems. Copyright © 2019 by Karen Skolfield. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Karen Skolfield’s book Battle Dress (W. W. Norton, 2019) won the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry, and she is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review. Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. www.karenskolfield.com