David Walker

Rugburn

He doesn’t find blackened fingers
in electrical sockets,
or nooses in our low-hanging blind cords
as I was warned. He’s crawling,

the second day he’s waveringly
fought gravity’s pull
on his young limbs.

I should be proud – 
nestled a few feet away on the floor
of his nursery, fringing a landscape
of toys landmined, scattershot.

Some make noise 
as he bounds meticulously

on his impromptu sally: a zigzagged 
assault on plush and plastic,
on singsong education. A father

has a bank he fills with moments.
As my son grips a blue elephant to his mouth,
my thumb is sliding across

the screen of my phone. My friend

has come back from Florida –
rippling blue sea skin, frosted margarita
glasses deafeningly clink 
their way into
the nursery prodding out currency.

My vision a pie chart,
scalloping 
attention from this digital flame 
casting cave-drawing shadows

on my son in the background –

his war cries 
the only tug on my stupor.

He may not find maiming 
in his own devices,
but the trophies he’s hoisting atop

every breath may find
rusting 
in my fragmented attention.

His conquests largely go unheralded
until his hand finds the knobby 
skin of my kneecap

stitching together the mosaic of my gaze.


——

David Walker writes intermittently, at best. He is a husband and a father. He has published two poetry chapbooks and has one forthcoming. His work appears in Soundings East, Menacing Hedge, ELJ, Sediments, and others. He is also the founding editor at Golden Walkman Magazine.

——

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