Read Poem: The Books We Choose to Read, by Steven Valentine

I was always a fan of classic stories.
but when a man cries depression,
The boy who cried wolf doesn’t seem so interesting anymore.

When tears tumbleweed down the cheek of your father,
the thought of ravenous barking things doesn’t arouse the senses much;
for you know your father’s lockjaw can be tagged-in at any moment now.

We will risk him reciting an obituary for his own voice.
We will risk losing the sound that echoes “survival” after the
tear ducts are patched up again.
We will lose it and never realize it was there in the first place.

When your father cries depression,
does he even speak the word?

And when he doesn’t,
will you know he’s speaking volumes
when silent on the couch from sun up
to sun down or will you scowl at the lethargy?
Is it not easy to hear the screaming
from the cold pillow case cotton?
Is it not a machine gun barrel clicking at your earlobe
each time Dad’s doctor’s appointment is missed,
or dinner gets cold?

When you say you are a patient daughter,
will you decipher the ancient texts of father’s past and find
yourself having part in the crumble?
Will you, too, lose your tongue in the moment?
Will it be ripped from your throat and fed
to the same wolves you didn’t think existed in the first place?

This isn’t some folktale we must disentangle
before we lose its meaning. There are some good days.
There are some bad. There are many we will never know until
he lives them. But one thing we do know,
is that he is still trying to judge the book by its cover and contents.
And I’m damn happy he chose to read them out loud.

– @StevenValentinePoetry

About poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.
This entry was posted in 2020 Poetry, new poetry, poet, poetry, Poetry Festival, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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