Gordon Hilgers / Poetry 5.2 / Fall, 2017




Was it nebulous kid fears as I waited in the powder blue
of my bedroom, a caught sparrow listening to death
after I had bottled 26 lighting bugs, B-movie monsters
lunging drunkenly in darkened, fallow fields of an outside
that could never belong here in suburbia? This too
was a glassy contrivance that has escaped television screens
which fenced-in stormy weather and infantile failure,
two steps in a crumbling dance where ballerinas bent
to win precious things. There I am, tonight, any night, me,
holding a candle simply to see it reflect against a broadcast
there in the mythos of Saturday. Here is a place
where only nothingness can hold us, this brief visitation
a fairground that does not really live. This is how
a doe contrived her silence, snared in the pick-up bed,
her freedom not lost because she did not know it. This is
how I feigned indifference as I rode beside my father,
a hunter forever. I recall bevies of doves without sound
as they fluttered through underbrush as I searched
for that thunder-boom of childhood. Then I remember
you also were there, your unquenchable want, that trust
we held like fireflies ablaze against the tent of sleep,
how we untied the bind only two together may unknot.


Gordon Hilgers has published short stories, poetry, book reviews, and journalism fairly widely.   His poetry has appeared in Chiron Review, Poetry Quarterly, Sequestrum, Red Fez, Edgar Allen Poet Journal, The Texas Observer and many other reviews, journals and magazines.  Currently, he lives in the Five Points neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, an area The Los Angeles Times dubbed “the Ellis Island of Texas” due to the over 30 languages spoken in a five-mile quadrant.  His work as an advocacy journalist with a street newspaper, Endless Choices, led to the formation of the Dallas Homeless Coalition, a HUD Continuum of Care agreement and a new city-owned homeless shelter.


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