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  • Gary Hunter

When a Castle loses its King June 1, 2020

while the bacon fat freed by the iron skillet

rises and fogs the air mom cracks eggs that

pucker white around each orange eye

the toaster pops up and down

over and over six mouths to feed

I gobble and run past the dining room two stairs

at a time two flights up to the pile of torn shorts

and sneakers happy feet know little gravity

my father a lover of green the backyard

a jungle of laughing maples forsythia as high as

I could kick a ball lilacs yet to bend heavy with purple

ivy-covered walls hedges thick with secrets

time stood still then or maybe I ran around

it for I never really saw it my joy was sky high

when he put me to bed one night and didn’t

kiss me or any night after

that hurt a thousand times more than his fork crack to

the forearm for elbows on the table at mealtime

I never ran as freely after that and ate

any way I wanted when he wasn’t looking

and when at last I left I knew I needed a new

kingdom it was time for me to rule


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