The Toll

The Toll short poem

Photo by purplbutrfly

found discarded
in a blackberry verge
rebar caked in layers
dirt and rust
like an alien archeologist
might lovingly wrest
from a sandy pit
blow it clean
with lepidopterous lips

much heavier than
appears it should
strains elbow and shoulder
of a gradeschool boy
his shirt left on a twig
his narrow chest
heaving it up
to his shoulder
debris trickling
antlike down his back

the girls don’t care
for his grunts or striving
they’re deep
in their own heads
eight or fifteen years
in futures that won’t
resolve as they wish
the variable being so
hard to command

with all his strength
boy whams jungle gym
louder than a smithy strike
the playground jumps as one
then looks for the cause
finds the boy crying
an electric eel
has shocked his palms
he has folded forward
cupping his pain
against his groin
forehead pressed against
cool metal until
a teacher helps him stand

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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