November 7, 2010

Phillip Sterling

ADAM

The problem was
he’d never been a boy,
never had a mother
to mother him

or punish him
for teasing the cat
(spun dizzy on a bar
stool), or using

the Lord’s name
in vain, or leaving
wads of chewing gum
in the pockets

of his corduroys,
gumming up
the good laundry
once too often;

he’d never played
soldier, explorer,
Cowboys-and-Indians,
or even baseball,

was never picked
last, odd-man-out,
and made to stand
deep in right field,

near the orchard
where girls
from down the road
would hide, giggling,

and every so often
chuck bruised fruit
at him
because he was cute.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005