Morgan Blalock – Hollins University
I realize that one day my father
will turn into his father,
will be swallowed by disease, swallowed
whole in his work clothes
suddenly and without notice:
One day he will forget how to turn
the key in the door, will stand
on the porch until my mother
comes home from shopping,
sees him from down the street,
knows somewhere deep inside of herself
what is happening, what will continue to happen.
We know that my father will turn
into his father, will smash all the mirrors
because the face he sees
is that of a stranger, will walk
bare-footed through the shards
because his mind plays tricks with pain.
He will not be my father, and it comes
each day sooner, each day sooner,
each sunrise looking like something
he cannot quite place, each orange sky
over the lake becoming a moment
he has no name for, no language to describe.
He will not be my father, and one day
he will wake up and not know my face,
will not see himself there,
and I will want to crucify myself on the limb
of the old walnut tree in the front yard,
Will want to offer my mind instead,
entirely and earnestly able to give up
the orange of every sunset
so that my father can have a word for love
and words for everything else.
Morgan Blalock is a junior at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA who writes mainly poetry and short fiction. She edits the nationally recognized journal Cargoes.