Chris Dollard

Child

Each crack in the bedrock shook our house while the faucet spat foam
and the tap water
ignited.

You played by the gravel road
where the trucks kicked up dust
that stuck to your skin like plastic.

I couldn’t feed you the vegetables
I grew in the backyard.

The rain poured from the downspouts
of our roof into buckets
so I could wash your hands, face,
& thinning hair—

so we left.

* * *

I held your hand
as we walked
across the overpass:

the freeway below flooded
by blackwater river;

the tall sky’s snow
settling like isotopes
over the landscape.

You opened your mouth
to sing
and only let fly
a blackbird.


Chris Dollard's work has appeared in Barrow Street and Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, for which he received a Pushcart nomination. He lives and teaches in Syracuse, New York.

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