Fable

My father’s flashlight led me down a flight
of the trapdoor stairs that shivered on their springs,

and there in the basement, the icebox was our lord,
our great provider, fat, white, streamlined

as a Studebaker or bathosphere, stuffed
with what it takes to survive a nuclear flash,

should it arrive. Here, he said. We will be okay.
Everything will be okay. And I trusted him

because I had no other, and winter was a place
I could not touch. Every white the chalk

that frames the flesh gone missing in the blaze.
Every vision broken and still we dreamt, cold

now as Russian children whose fathers ran,
confused, with torches through the fabled woods.

Every flag had a little red in it, a little hammer,
radiant as rubles and minarets and hospital

chrome, where the patient in a nearby room
lies, so deep asleep he could be dead, or wasted,

heavy breathing through the mask, deep as ice
in the eyes of the damned, and no one is the wiser.

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-eight books including, most recently, Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse, 2018), Dear Reader (Parlor, 2018), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), Scar (Etruscan, 2020), Behemoth (New Criterion Prize, Criterion Books), The Calling (Parlor, 2021), and Patmos (Juniper Prize, UMass, 2021).His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including seven editions of Best American Poetry.Presently he is Regents Emeritus Professor of English at the University of North Texas.
Bruce Bond

Latest posts by Bruce Bond (see all)

  • Frog - May 30, 2021
  • One - October 26, 2020
  • Bronze - October 26, 2020

Author: Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-eight books including, most recently, Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse, 2018), Dear Reader (Parlor, 2018), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), Scar (Etruscan, 2020), Behemoth (New Criterion Prize, Criterion Books), The Calling (Parlor, 2021), and Patmos (Juniper Prize, UMass, 2021). His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including seven editions of Best American Poetry. Presently he is Regents Emeritus Professor of English at the University of North Texas.