Gingerbread House Lit Mag


She sobs beneath the tree
in the shade at dusk:
Quiver, quiver, little tree,
bring my father back to me;
a child’s incantation, a spell,
a wish no godmother ever heard.
She would have cut off heel or toe
to make herself fit once more
inside his heart.

Face to face again, as the clock
marches toward his midnight,
it’s his turn to weep
and plead, but his
careless words echo
down the corridors
of time, and with them,
the shame of his shame
at this deformed child
who could not be
the bride to any prince.

She can’t answer
his open arms.
She is blind to his pain,
deaf to his sorrow,
ears and eyes
pecked away. Time
has passed; her heart
has forgotten the
sobs beneath the tree,
the unanswered prayer
for her father to
be her father. She
doesn’t remember,
can’t forget,
can’t bring herself
to kneel again
and pick the lentils
from these ashes.

James A. Clark


James A. Clark is a 2015 AWP Intro Journals Award winner living in East Texas. His work can be found in Psaltery & Lyre, and his award-winning short fiction is forthcoming in Iron Horse Literary Review.

Artwork: Brooke Shaden, “character of the world”

This entry was published on August 28, 2015 at 12:09 am and is filed under 14 (August 2015), Archive, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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