Jeffrey McDaniel (1967 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
A boy asks his father to spiral a football over a tree
to arch it, so the ball will arrive an instant before the child.
The child dives. tendons extended, heart bucking
hands opening, to clutch what descends from the sky.
Your mother left today for the institution. If the ball
hits ground, she dies.
That December afternoon the boy's mother passed away,
thirty-three times in the first hour.
Each time he grabbed her head from the snow and
ran it back to his father, promised to do better
and he did, he ran hard, focused, dove.
I caught my mother's skull thirteen times in a row
and she's still not coming home.
Comments about this poem (1975 by Jeffrey McDaniel )
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