Entrenched by Devon Balwit


The house rattles, father and son
at loggerheads,

the father bitter that the son chooses

with his fine, strong body that his father
cannot repossess,

the son flinching at the sear of disapproval,
its raw burn

repeated in an endless tallying of keloid

The father bellows from below-stairs,

the wall for good measure to bypass
the headphones

behind which the son swaddles.
So much time

lost fighting over the same ground,
trees blown

to stumps, blast craters seeping
and stinking.

Were each to stumble upon the other’s

he’d find, tucked close, photos of the same,

creased letters with Dearest in the same

by Devon Balwit

Editor’s Note: This poem’s difficult imagery conveys the difficulty of father/son love with great precision and emotional complexity.

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