December 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Jason Barry


Father told me once to
be a man

for I was not meant to sketch
a daffodil    or chase the buntings

as they swooped like paper planes
from our red chimney

flight lines of curlicues and

don’t just sit there
he’d say on Sunday mornings

fishing rods in hand
but I’d grin and let my feet

dangle down into the water
toes tickled by the skins

of passing trout
when I was eight years old

I learned what all sons know
Uncle Bill’s daughter in our garage

if you mention this to anyone
I’ll destroy you    Dad said

grey hands like shattered clay on
a child’s breast

we walked into to the study
that autumn evening

sunset painted above the lake
I remember him whispering that

these suckers pack a heavy punch
twenty hollow-points in a plastic box

pro casing
heart crushing
silver feeling

he placed a shell in my jacket pocket
kissed my forehead lightly

and said to play in the field
out back with Jenny


Jason Barry is a writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He is the poetry editor at The Bacon Review, and acquisitions editor for books in philosophy at Paradigm Publishers. His recent poems have appeared in The Fat City Review, BarebackLit Review, On a Junket, and other print and online publications.


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