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The Son

John Grey

When my father died, I saw myself in others.

They could not see this themselves.

In the valley of the moon. By the boat landing.

And in every picture I snapped with my camera.


(The world perceives what no longer is,

makes up for it in the eye’s lens.

It can’t undo what has happened.

But it can turn glass into blood)


Then my mother, locked within twilight,

looked out from time to time, but facing away,

employing the tricks of a mirror,

one cheek lit from behind, the other dyed strawberry.


In her case, the negative happened.

Dry and gray, dreaming the wrong things,

fearing the moon’s hex, sticking pins in dolls.

Everywhere she went, she toted a casket.


In the summer heat, I killed many an insect in kind.

I built a castle in sand and it was felled by brackish water.

The wallpaper in my room was dead skin in another lifetime.

And my bed was a habit I would do my best to break.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in New World Writing, North Dakota Quarterly and Lost Pilots. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and  “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in California Quarterly, Seventh Quarry, La Presa and Doubly Mad.
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