Like the smiling boy in a Caravaggio,
his outstretched arms offer apples and pears.
He steps into our living room.
You know what happens next–overturned tables.
Flames shimmy up a tall mast;
Theseus abandons ship just in time. Amazon
women with impossibly thick muscles wrestle
cowboys to the ground. Fists meet chins.
Ruthless executions follow: by firing squad,
sword thrust, a shove overboard.
At six o’clock, dust motes settle,
we sink into our brocade chairs–cracked china figures
in green and gold. I’ve lost you, little brother, tough older sister.
Our knees ache.
Story hour’s over.
Trish Saunders divides her time between Seattle and Honolulu. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Gnarled Oak, Busted Dharma, Blast Furnace Press, Off the Coast, Poets and Poetry, and Here/There Poetry.
Bickering Children by Bernhard Keil.