Clutched Prize

That jaw must be wearing out by now.
A slow explosion. Swallow the shrapnel.

It lies heavy in the stomach. Wormwood,
whatever that is. Medicine. Desserts.

I remember a child trying to catch
some attention, waiting for a break

that seemed to never come.
I could see the eyes drifting

like water over a rounded rock.
That rock must be gone by now.

I remember a child in the bleachers
trying to catch something.

He waited while the game, which
was for adults, was played.

He waited, chewing the inside
of his cheek sometimes.

He waited, is waiting, jaw aching,
for the slow explosion,

the puff of dust, the clutched prize.
You did it. You did it. I’m so proud.