The neighbor boy has cancer, has a fifty-fifty
chance, has taught my son how to play Wii, has spoken
of heaven, has planted four beans, has relapsed,
has used the word aspirate correctly in a sentence, has fallen
in love with our dogs which he is timid to admit
since his own dogs are nearly as lovable, has grown
his hair back, has mentioned Jésus, too, has cancer
and gave him a Hello Kitty sticker yesterday
at hemoc—hematology/oncology, has transformed
legos into a pixilated basket of fruit, has blown up
a balloon and tied it to himself with a string, has beaten
the highest score in Rubble Trouble, has relapsed,
has built a fort with my son featuring moat,
back door, and windows, all out of snow, has prayed
for Jésus and also Ben and also Tara and also Cameron
and also for my son, who does not have cancer
but a stomach virus which kept him from playing
Sidewalk Chalk and for which this kid remembers to lift
the syllables of my son’s name from his tongue to God,
like Pop Rocks, blueberry-blue, crackling, loud,
my son’s name in that boy’s open, irreducible mouth.
This appeared on Antler, http://thisisantler.com/2012/04/interview-susanna-childress/.
Follow the link to read a previous interview with Susanna Childress.