Tuesday, October 31, 2006


the father
the boy
who twirled a baton
tipped in red
while the father
long rods of fire
snuffed out somewhere
past lips
and over tongue
hidden behind teeth
yellowed from nights
tasting sulfur
as giants and dwarfs
with floppy orange shoes
into dollhouse windows
dangling toes
between me and the boy

and i was nine again
over hot coals
from the grill by dad
who bet ten bucks
i couldn’t do it
and i said i would
if he would
and i did
and he laughed
wiping his hand across his mouth
me standing there in burnt feet

with time came a vision
branding his back
as skin sizzled

his fingers
tapers in a church
that i lit
one by one
snuffing each flame
so he’d smolder
before me

Chella Courington
From _Oregon East Magazine_ (vol. 37, 2006)


Rebekah said...

yea! Chella is back! Now you know my friend, you have to post more than every six weeks to get readers.

Great poem. I miss hearing you read. Talk to you soon.

Anne Bauer said...

A haunting work. Thanks for posting.

Irish-Kirsty said...

I love the imagery. Its like I can feel the heat from the flames as I sit in the front row of the local circus. Fond memories!