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The Isle of the Little God by Mary Ferrari

Submitted by on October 1, 2013 – 12:41 pm

in memory of my father

              My first wish

is to be alone but

not lonely, to go beyond

the solemn high

mass of the

breakers to something simple

not frightening.

Outside our cottage

an old father sings

a mournful tune to

his baby and a yellow

kite vanishes.

No escaping

the card tricks, the King of

Hearts. Do you know the secret?

Your man is trapped.

Only one move

will save him.

This island wind

is uncovering. Jim blows

an eternal whistle. We take

it away. Then he whistles

through his teeth.

Let’s leave out

some of the words. Tell me

the lie you were going

to tell me.

Listen, I am

brushing my teeth.

Jane’s blackberry pie

is in the oven. I dream

I am a big woman

trying to squeeze into

a small coffin.

The pie crust doesn’t look

done. The sea commits me

to absolutely nothing.

It is too gracious

to make demands.

Shipwrecked sailors held on

and on.

Children run in

from the blackberry patch

full of irreligious innocent

stains. We rode through

a cloud, told ghost stories and

saw of a lot of bats. Did

you see the tombstones shining

after the gale? an old man

cried to me.

Paul says, “I’m an adult

going into ninth grade.

I’m not a sex maniac anymore.”

Across the fields a horse

runs wild.

I look for high

trees of protection

on this island but I can’t

find any. Ambushed indians

jumped off the bluffs

into the arms of

the little god. When

people die, I don’t know

what to say to them.

The green light of my eyes

of the lighthouse is twirling.

The green whistle, the green

kite, the green cottage

the green life

is changing color

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