Today's poem is by Michael O. Marberry
He didn't recognize anyone, even in his own family! He began calling
them food names: "Come here, little ptarmigan," he said to his son.
When he said that, some ptarmigan feathers flew out of his mouth!
"The Took-Luck Windigo"
[as translated by Howard Norman]
My father seemed to eat the world. He was a world
I wouldn't visit. Far off, I saw him gorge himself
each day: his anti-Thoreauvian appetite, his second
meal at the end of every meal, and the borborygmic
wambling of a body in fear of itself. This was both
a gaining and a forfeiting somehow: slow and steady,
different than a man who loses everything on a last
and desperate ante. Christ said, Eat and drink of me
and you will live, as if the world ought go Windigo.
Here are the things I cannot talk about: my father
publicly killing himself. Or how a good son must
open his voice like a wide door. Or what remains
of us. Or what is left to burn. I know I'm not a good man.
Copyright © 2012 Michael O. Marberry All rights reserved
from Indiana Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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