The Boy Stands

June 12, 2011

The boy floats face down back to shore.
His body’s bleeding still. His arms move,
but only with the waves.

For a moment the world has stopped
and all things seem to multiply. Each stone
becomes a moment not to be thrown away.

Maybe all things speak their own death.
Maybe everything floats below the skin.
Maybe there are some days when you’re inside

the wing and some days when you’re not…
His cousin Alfred laughs
and Uncle Charles is smiling too. Maybe

every common thing has this in common.
For he could see that Uncle Charles would die
with his arms tied to a hospital bed,

and Alfred would be in a car accident
two years later.    He remembers 8 x 7 is 56.

The water drips. The lake swells. The boy stands.
The gods all think our words are tedious
extensions of our minds…

Or so he tells his mother who
is near death knee deep in the red water
calling him back to her.

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2 Responses to “The Boy Stands”

  1. extrasimile Says:

    Thanks again John. You do see all the salient points. The stillness—I worked through a lot of text to get there—and yes, ‘the wing’—I am rather proud of that—and the mother ‘near death knee deep’…
    but ‘the boy stood’.
    The boy stood.
    Yes, but where?

  2. John Stevens Says:

    The atmosphere here is perfectly still – the world, or time, suspended in shock and anticipation.
    “Maybe there are some days you’re inside/ the wing and some days you’re not …” – that is an arresting image; one to be treasured.
    And then: “… the boy stands …”. Relief.
    I am reminded rather uncomfortably of a friend of mine who drowned on vacation as a student. Not a close friend. But that isn’t the point. I certainly am moved by the reference to the mother “near death knee deep in the red water”.


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