Halflife
by M. Ross Henry

I don’t know how to do things halfway.

Others drone on like 45s

set to 33 revolutions per minute.

I put the needle to my throat every day.

You can’t see the red that flows,

the endless flowing.

My life is anemic without the farm.
What do I make of this city,

its smog and blare?

I want the taste of dirt in my mouth,
the sound of bare ground cracking open.

My children run toward me

like predators rushing their prey.

My hands are too smooth, my nails too long.

Lawns muffle passing cars.

At play, boys fall and rise, fall and rise.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 2.

placesaver2M Ross Henry lives and writes in the lower Missouri River Basin. The motto of the state where M lives is ad astra per aspera, meaning “to the stars through difficulties,” which captures not only the essence of the human condition but also the attempt to capture that condition in and through poetry.

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