growing smaller


I don’t know what to say.

And how many times have you heard that?

Such a cliche to write about

how cliche it is to write about a cliche.  

And I could go on.

Like the mirrors at the Stafford house

showing a million mes, all the same

but growing smaller, like Russian dolls–

another cliche– or strength

of features, generation to the next.

That rogue gene, the one

passed down from great aunt Theor

whose mother was raped

by a murderer.

Every birth they’d pray

to silent gods,

spare this child, this child.

And each time they would.

The gods did and did, until Frankie.

And what sweet things he saw his victims as

each growing smaller and smaller

like the mirrors

that showed a million hims, reflected back–

the Russian dolls– was that what he thought,

as he cut them out?

One by one, growing smaller.

Until nothing.

Like the family still pray

for his gene.

Let it spare this child and this one

And me.