Bob Dornberg  © 2007 All Rights Reserved

Wreckage of Hours

            I’m a scarecrow smiling his bloody smile among the
—Pablo Neruda Love Sonnet LX

I’m standing on the corner of Maple and High
grasping the soft bones of my son’s hand.
Close my eyes. Feel the whoosh of the bus, its wake.
I could let go, he’d take a step off the curb,
swept with wind. The dis-ease
with mercury, Eli Lilly, the CDC,
ignorant pediatricians, public comments.
Those flecks of god that settle on me at night,
stirring hope, mythologizing cure.
Wouldn’t it read an accident? Wouldn’t they whisper:
She’s better off . . . he’s better off, what kind of life:
tantrums, wetting pants when he’s what . . . 25, 35.
He would have been a 6ft toddler, unemployable?
My mother would suspect, hearing the lilt
in my voice this week, the bottle bottom last.
Clouds of jest. I grip a night of three-word tirades,
hit, sniffed, groped by a boy.

Kim Mahler
Copyright © 2007


Kim Mahler earned an MFA in poetry from New England College. Her recent work has been published or is forthcoming in Thought Magazine, the Cimarron Review, and 5AM. She co-edits Poetry Center San Jose’s literary journal caesura, and has taught college writing in the San Francisco Bay Area for 12 years. She lives in Palo Alto, CA with her son Harrison.

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