by Worthy Evans
This is the part of the operation
when I don’t know how I will get out
of this. On a rainy fall afternoon I am hip deep
in a pit of wet filth left over from another
ultramodern home being built. In high school
I am in a pre-chemistry lab setting a flame
to a test tube of sulfur and iron filings, or whatever
made the explosion that sends a burning cork
past the teacher’s temple. In the army I’m trying
to hold a buffer steady enough to wax a 200-foot long
hallway on extra duty. In a press box I’m rewriting a lead
twenty minutes before filing deadline.
Today at 6:30 I am restraining my son in the front room
because he cannot understand that he is grounded,
this time for having beat on some kids at the pool
and breaking a daycare lady’s finger.
Every morning is new tension, every evening
the grip gives out.
-refers from the word gripped in Sheila Lamb’s story Swim