7 a.m., May 27
- Joseph Millar
A poem by Joseph Millar
- The children sit quietly on the grass,
- having untied the bell from the cat’s collar
- so he can stalk the night moth
- jagging past us in the dark,
- and I’m trying not to think
- about the blue walls at the Detox Center
- where I left their mother this morning,
- shivering and clutching
- the bestseller about vampires,
- a broken suitcase at her feet.
- I’m sitting in the doorway
- watching the night drift into the yard,
- the low voice of the news channel
- running like water behind me.
- Overhead the pine cones have cracked
- partly open and the hooked branches
- rake the late breeze like a claw.
- The youngest kneels on his skateboard,
- looks up at me and says
- he wants to learn Kung Fu
- before school starts next month,
- to wear black and carry
- its invisible weapons in secret,
- moving softly through the fifth grade
- like a spy.