The Hunch­back

The Iowa Review - - FRONT PAGE - James galvin

To­day I am cap­tive to a caus­tic lone­li­ness, A cer­tain fear that the Fu­ture Stone Age

Ap­proaches in­eluctably like a fog Bank mov­ing in­land, oblit­er­at­ing any

Particulars of trees, build­ings, be­liefs, Not just ef­fac­ing the world’s most vul­ner­a­ble

De­tails, but de­vour­ing them. I know That out there in the fog, April’s oak, ash,

And maple leaves are blindly striv­ing, peo­ple’s Houses crum­ble while cradling in­tri­ca­cies

Of fa­mil­ial pe­cu­liar­i­ties. Even the peo­ple who live them will have no

Idea of what they mean in their de­nials And self-de­cep­tions as they eat a piece of toast,

Dance bare­foot in the grass, water the flow­ers, Or turn the page of a novel in which a hunch­back

Is spot­ted hid­ing in a cor­ner of An empty swim­ming pool. Soon it will all

Have turned into a nos­tal­gic fairy tale, A lie of cul­ture and na­ture and the Fu­ture

Stone Age will ar­rive to whis­per in each of our ears Ev­ery­thing we al­ways knew was true.

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