Reprise by Kathleen Hellen

/ / Issue 6, Poetry

Reflex. Automatic. My son with that look when I slapped him.
Something in the genes, the violence of pathways reenacting:
biologies of caterwaul of bottle-fights of fists into the wall.

I saw Mother with her twin colossals jug-drunk dancing jigs. Her laugh,
big or bigger, her three sheets to the wind—My Father’s hands like blackened mitts.

I wanted none of it—that phonograph. The crankpin, that turntable
that played the groove over and over. I put the toys away. A ball,
a holstered gun. Things to tell me I was having fun.




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