Issue 129, Winter 1993
Not just because a child draws him — pie-faced and frontal,
Grinning—it’s hard to watch the man’s head and hands take shape
From a black magic marker, despite the other colors in the box:
The sparse hair on his forehead, the eye-orbits without pupils,
A hook, like an inverted question mark, to signify the nose,
And his mouth a lipless grimace, really a snarl.
Two Xs represent what might have touched, waved, even spanked,
And the eyes’ white squint might be the child’s memory
Of the man’s manic visitations: those babblings of happiness
Sweeping through the house, until everyone in his wake
Went a little crazy too, slugged dumb by his anecdotes about the war,
Words misfiring like the Spitfire he’d mimic, arms flung wide like wings.