How A Man Who’s Not My Son Suddenly Dances With His Cousins by John Horvath Jr

“Somehow, when no one watched, he puzzled mudslide home and winning score into a dance of grace; somehow, when no one looked, he parquetried rough splinters into a smooth tongue.”

What could make a dull boy dance Sunday
after supper with cousins he hadn't seen
for so long? Was this puberty passed or
some exercise in social grace? Seems
a bit too sudden that this awkward length
of gumfull jaw and baseball cards has
come to press the womening to him and
those eyes that just yesterday cursed
their presence now caress their slightest
moves, their every fold and flip of cloth.

Should I have taken you to a woman
learned to teach, then I would expect
this man the women love. But fathers
seem always startled by discoveries
their sons have made without dad as
guide--this isn't some schoolyard dirt
he's made into this dance. Somehow,
when no one watched, he puzzled
mudslide home and winning score
          into a dance of grace;
somehow, when no one looked, he
          parquetried rough splinters
into a smooth tongue. Should I tell him
when we are alone or does he now know
          of secret sports for man and wife:

          (There are no rules but those you make;
          the crowd won’t cheer your every catch;
          there are no scores and no scoreboards.
          One wins what’s given up to win;
                    you cannot take.)

I think he knows what makes a dull boy welcome dance
(and he hasn’t told; not said a word to me or mom;
I know he knows what I know makes a dull boy dance.)

*

Mississippian John Horváth Jr publishes internationally since the 1960s, recently in Munyori Review (Zimbabwe), Numbat (Australia), Pyrokinection, Illuminations (print), and Olentangy Review. After Vanderbilt and Florida State universities, “Doc” Horváth taught at historically Black colleges. Since 1997, promoting contemporary international poetry, Horváth edits www.poetryrepairs.com. John is a disabled Army veteran.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: