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

Yard

January 2020 Poetry Feature

MEGAN PINTO
In the world of the living, good works won’t change  your fate, but my father, in darkness, will ready himself / to wake. He will log his money in a notebook, fill a bucket / with loose coins--the receipts get folded in half. It’s hard / letting go of a way of life. 

Headshots of Miller and Gill

Marie-Andrée Gill: Poems in Translation from SPAWN

MARIE-ANDREE GILL
Marie-Andrée Gill’s Spawn is a surprising, colorful, virtuosic collection. Its brief, untitled poems span ’90s-kid nostalgia, the life cycle of fresh-water salmon, a coming of age, and the natural landscape of the Mashteuiatsh reserve, centered on Lake Piekuakami

Saudade

DIPIKA MUKHERJEE
In Itaparica, the beach broods / under ruddy sky. Two fishermen / and I search waves spitting / shells: ribbed green, a crown / for a queen; a conch; an obelisk; / a whorled shell; a thin swell / pink modica of a disc.