The Small God – A Poem

Cover our daughter. Instill in her
a locust heart.
It is not a covenant we can make.

She in the den with rich mahogany eyes
reads Milton with distrust.
“How far is love?
Is it boundless as the green?” she asks,

and I am held breathless.

Captive and suffering.

“There is a danger in the silhouette, you see?
The sheer guise it represents,
the madness that’s found in the contours
of the body.

Contempt drives us, though. It is our one shared
virtue,” she laughs

while crossing the room, the light slowly failing
with each step
against her rising shadow.

Her arms are defenseless, and yet they respond
only with pearled indifference
to the slightest touch
of chill in the air.

She shifts the weight of her loneliness delicately
into me. She grows
as I diminish
beneath her.

I am the small god worthlessly seeking penance.
Fastened to the stone. Cast into the dark under-
currents
of a deprived world.

She devours my restraints.

Out and beyond the waking sun drifts blind.
The countryside falls into ruin.

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11 thoughts on “The Small God – A Poem

  1. joseph, this poem reminds me of how powerful are the narratives of each family. just the line “She shifts the weight of her loneliness delicately into me” suggests so much. as a father and grandfather of daughters, i have felt some of the complexity of these relationships. i come away from the poem with a haunted feeling because of the powerful images it has conjured.

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