“Some boys absorb their father’s punches—release them in sports or turn them into song. Some store the hits in a bruised body, saving them like pennies in a piggy bank, waiting to cash in when the market’s strong.”
Everyone Says They Saw The Signs by Marissa Glover
Hitler didn’t just wake up one morning and start killing Jews.
If Adolf was ever a boy his mother loved,
Klara knew. She saw the glint settle in his eyes
when little Edmund died. She worried
when teachers sent him home for fighting.
She whispered her fears to the dark and woke
each morning to serve Brötchen with honig.
Some boys absorb their father’s punches—
release them in sports or turn them into song.
Some store the hits in a bruised body, saving them
like pennies in a piggy bank, waiting to cash in
when the market’s strong.
After the police leave, Ms. Smith talks to reporters
huddled at her mailbox, shoulder blades straining
to touch—a trick her mother taught her
for cotillion thirty years earlier—
before the boy next door shot up the school.
Tonight, we’ll hear the soundbite:
how it was just a matter of time, how he
pelted frogs as a kid, tied cats together by their tails.
Tomorrow, we’ll read he once punched a hole
in the wall over a video game his mother took away—
he walked in circles, went days without bathing.
Soon, we can sort the comments from strangers
on the internet into a single category:
Just look at those dead eyes, everyone says
as the family’s Christmas photo from Facebook goes viral.
No one asks, Did the cats untie their own tails?
Who buried the broken frogs and then washed their hands?
Marissa Glover is a teacher and writer who shares her thoughts more than necessary, which she considers a form of charitable giving. If it counted as a tax deduction, she’d be rich. Her poetry has been published at Easy Street, The Opiate, Lipstick Party Magazine, Unbroken Journal, Helen: A Literary Magazine, and Muddy River Poetry Review, among others—and is forthcoming from Riggwelter. Follow her on Twitter @_MarissaGlover_.