Jeffrey McDaniel

Rookie (1967 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

1977


The family around the table and a silence
so compact no words can break it.

Not even a pigeon swirling through the window
can nudge mother's poorly taped grin.

Her face has the euphoric glow of a mathematician
whispering a formula into the whorl of a rose.

Her eyes are tiny stones testing the black
silk bags she lugs them in.

Since father banned television the sons stare
at the marriage dangling from the ceiling.

Each month it sinks another couple inches
until it's in their food.
No wonder they don't eat.

Submitted: Thursday, February 14, 2008

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