When I Fell Out the Tree, I was Already a Man

by | Dec 2, 2013 | Poetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

no wet fur, no postpartum screaming.  When
I split open the skin under my chin, I was
still a child; the scar remains.  When I slipped
and tore open my knee on the rock, some
would’ve called me a man, but none did.
When the surprise or fright is profound,
my leg quakes with tremblors.  When the jug
met my mouth too quickly, my front tooth
cracked.  When my mother saw it later, I lied
and said it had always been so.  When I lie,
I often fail.    When my body stretches
or strains after the ball or the object tucked
under and away, I feel my father.  When the world
disagrees, spasm.  But mostly, I mean a story
like this one:  When my stub was given out last,
it came up first.  When we had bought our seats,
the show sold out. When my right ear stood
too close, it rang for years, a muted trumpet.
When friends ask after the ear, I no longer notice
a muffled silence like cotton up against a clock:
what I once called wreckage, I now call youth.

 

Photo By: collideous

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