Anthony Macris



An indifferent god
raised his fist
and before my eyes
crushed my son.

I stood frozen in the yellow light
of the tiny spare bedroom
I’d made into a study,
breathless at the cruelty.

I’d failed the first test.
I felt sorry for myself,
stunned by rage
at the corruption
of my new father’s pride.
Why me, I sobbed. Why me?

Rise above it, I told myself.
Be a man, I told myself.
I turned from flesh to stone.
I turned from stone to steel.
Then I turned to rust.

The indifferent god
lifted his fist.
My son sprang up,
a shattered cherub made whole again,
his smile empty,
his gaze vacant,
his entire being turned in on itself,
trapped in a loop of exhilaration.

Alone in the darkness
of our bedroom
my son’s mother
felt no self pity.

She died only to be
dragged back to life,
a transfiguration in reverse.

When she emerged,
her skin scorched,
her soul in tatters,
she still moved with her dancer’s grace,
holding him close,
close but not too tight,
petrified he would break.


Comments are closed.