Entrenched by Devon Balwit

Entrenched

The house rattles, father and son
at loggerheads,

the father bitter that the son chooses
differently

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
zeroes.

The father bellows from below-stairs,
hammers

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
body,

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

creased letters with Dearest in the same
hand.

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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