March 22, 2017

C. Wade Bentley

SPIN

One of those nights when I wake with a start,
thinking I have heard my daughter calling my name,

though she is many miles away and many years
from sleeping in my home. I would like to believe

that via some unbroken remnant of a father-
daughter psychic bond, she is sitting upright

in her own bed at this very moment, thinking of me,
thinking how she would ask me to check the closet

for monsters or bring her a glass of water or find
a way to get rid of the blind date she has caught

a glimpse of as he waits in the front foyer. The world
should have this kind of magic, I think. It should not

be some burble of apnea that has me wide awake
now, wide aware of all the trucks or boulders,

bad hearts or sadnesses that have pinned my children
beneath them, all the times I could not summon

that freakish, parental adrenaline that should have
set them free. I’ve heard how Einstein struggled

to believe in god, to explain the magic that allows
two entangled photons to respond to each other

almost simultaneously, even reaching back to the past,
so that from great distances they keep on responding

somehow, even when one, or the other, has gone.

from Rattle #54, Winter 2016
2016 Rattle Poetry Prize Finalist

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C. Wade Bentley: “Over the past year or so, I have several times decided to be done submitting poems, maybe even to be done writing poems. And it’s not because I’m bitter or discouraged or convinced that poetry can do nothing to improve the world (although I am convinced of this). I think it’s because I sometimes can’t answer the big questions: why are you doing this? what do you hope the outcome will be? so what? and then what? But then I read a poem by someone else that opens up my chest cavity and applies the defibrillator paddles directly to my flat-lining heart, and so I decide I should keep writing, for another month or two, at least, just on the off chance that I can discover how such a thing is done.” (website)