When At Night Zane Says His Prayers

By Susanna Childress

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.