Friday, March 11, 2022

Two Poems by Cameron Morse

The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share

Morning my fingers wake to discover their nails archeologically dug into the soft meat of my palm, fossilized, I don't want to sneak a peek at my future. The well-meaning Velcro strap given the slip while I slept. Some bodyguard. And my fingers all palsied up together like that don't bode well for their wrist: Speaking of which, I have to remind myself not to take some goblins personally. I know the artist is only looking for a vehicle for some inward ugliness, but did they really have to have to steal my car, my critical condition, to get the point across? Couldn't Edward, the frightful, have had thick, muscular wrists and still been hideous to his sister Claire? Am I really going to be so unattractive my own wife even is repulsed by me? I pry my hand out of my hand and ignore the temptation to stay in bed. I had an idea about this: The back deck broke its perfect silence of snow yesterday and passed through the night only a handful of crackling shells of ice. Encouraging a walk in the moonlight. Now there's a children’s book I like.

June is angry at December
for dropping the laundry basket.
It takes him too long
to get strapped in
to the splint before bed,
to straighten out his curly fingers.
It's sad, but there it is. June
remembers the man who dug the ditch,
not this drooling invalid.
December drags his left leg.
Raises the red head of a toy shovel
against the brown paper of a yard
waste bag with his one good
hand and spits sunflower
seeds into the leaves. Slips out
before dawn and pisses in the yard
despite the cold stares
of the stars. You can call it spite.
December loves an audience.
Cameron Morse is Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and the author of eight collections of poetry. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is The Thing Is (Briar Creek Press, 2021). He holds an MFA from the University of Kansas City-Missouri and lives in Independence, Missouri, with his wife Lili and (soon, three) children. 
For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.    

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