At the Busy Intersection

By VICTORIA REDEL

 

When I saw the man tuck the boy
under his arm like a chicken
or a football, it made me
remember how after one week
of pre-season my youngest declared
his body was all wrong,
insufficient to take down boys
he needed taken down. Our home
became a chapel to muscle—
bench presses, free-weights, protein
powders, capsules of creatine.

It made me miss my mother.
The way in winter, she’d say,
Don’t breathe, when we walked from
the house to the blue Chevrolet.
She was always begging a doctor
to give us penicillin shots,
something I understand when
my eldest calls from the midwest,
Don’t worry, Mom, but I’m very sick.

I can’t say I’m worried exactly
about the boy under the man’s arm
but I’m not unworried either.
If it were up to me, the man
would set the boy down and they’d hold hands
to cross the dangerous street.
If it were up to me—I hear
my mother cluck. And the rest
of them, too, who watch our lives
like sit-com, like a sports match,
side-splitting amusement for
the honking, neighing, barnyard dead.

 

 

Victoria Redel is the author of Woman Without Umbrella, her third collection of poetry.

Click here to purchase Issue 03

At the Busy Intersection

Related Posts

poetry feature image

January 2021 Poetry Feature: Bruce Bond

BRUCE BOND
I was just another creature crawling from the mausoleum, / and I thought, so this is it, the place in the final chapter / where I am judged for all my cruelties, blunders, failures of attention, / and I waited for the furies to take me, or some such host. / But it was just another morning.

Sky full of comets

Poems in Translation from Bestia di gioia

MARIANGELA GUALTIERI
And he soars / saved, outstretched / untouched by the gravity that pins us / down / we deserters of empty spaces and heights / shadows cast / into modest taverns for a bite. / Heads in capitals / of rust. / A lifetime annuity of darkness. / Only a cry can save us now.

poetry feature image

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison

DENISE DUHAMEL
Where was I / when I was 20? I’d already been accepted / as an exchange student, taking my first plane ride / to London where I’d catch a train / to Wales. On that first flight, I sat next to a woman / in a shawl—how old was she? It’s hard to say.