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 books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), and Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018).Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.
Bruce Bond

Latest posts by Bruce Bond (see all)

  • Zion - October 8, 2018
  • Fable - October 8, 2018

Author: Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), and Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018). Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.