Today's poem is by Jennifer Metsker
In sixth grade each day forty minutes free read.
I chose horror novels, poltergeists, paranormal chairs
in pyramid formation, hot spots, a closet that opened up
to the otherworld,
a haunted walk-in that looped and tied children
umbilicals of look into the light,
too soon, too soon!
In my book bag I found
500 pages of possessed clown. Some dead
pass on, not over, what they wanted: a book report
written during my first insomnia (too soon!).
I put a chair by my bed,
for Jesus, because the Christian neighbors said
when they had me to dinner
that Jesus would watch over me
if I offered him a place to sit.
Begat, begat, begat
because books read front to back. At that rate I never reached
Jesus in print. One finger on creation, one eye on the closet.
I wanted answersplot-driven, mass market fiction.
The Christian neighbors' chained dog
barked all night, then he stopped. Long quiet.
He hung himself by jumping over our fence.
What he wanted: It occurs to me
our new dog was a girl.
(begat, begat, begat)
A slat of the fence broke off. Though they fixed it,
it never would stay fixedalways half a slat
lying in the grass, a glimpse of a rusting swing set.
Copyright © 2007 Jennifer Metsker All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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