Poem #28

Lesson in Lockjaw

My grandfather’s jaw is locked
into the smoothness of my chin,
a mechanism that helps me chew
the fat at Christmas, though cramps
on a confession that refuses to come
when Politics arrives, leaning
into Uncle G’s shoulder to whisper
like a lover until he’s so incensed
with passion that a need manifests
into unhinged diatribe on sexuality,
a topic of which he knows little,
and I can’t help but shift to the left
in my seat, wanting to fire back,
but know the futility of a gunfight
with so few allies in enemy territory.


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