Today's poem is by Ted Kooser

The Child and the Parent

The child has torn off the front of the parent.
Was it the father, the mother? No one can tell.
What's left stands bleeding, its dear face gone,
its breast and belly gone, its sex. Its throat
gapes open, the vocal chords like strands of phlegm
that tremble, trying to come up with advice,
just a friendly word or two of wise counsel.
It opens its bloody arms, wanting a hug,
but with its eyes gone, the parent can't see
that the child has already left with its booty,
with part of a parent, rolled up like a carpet.
It won't be worth much in such awful condition,
but the child thinks some fool may take it
in trade for a few gallons of gas, or a burger
with fries and a Coke, or a pair of old sneakers
with a little bounce left in the soles.

Copyright © 2009 Ted Kooser All rights reserved
from Iron Horse Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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