Jan 152014

by Sy Roth


Lunch break’s quiet snapped like a number two pencil.

At home, usual repast set before him.

His turtle languished under its plastic umbrella

sitting among floating bits of green and meat scraps.

Enflamed faces either side of both of them

kitchen knife brandished and their words carve the air.

The boy sits head, el-bent, over his tomato soup,

his grilled cheese sandwich a hibernating bear,

Spoon clicks hitting the bottom of the bowl,

Syncopates with each hurled word.

He stabs at them in the eye of the storm.

Interminable seconds tick,

marks the rounds and lunch break ends.

Turtle lumbers to the other side of his bowl,

The boy shifts in his seat, and he rolls to the door.

He returns to study the origins of rayon.

They glare.

knife maintains the peace

His uneaten lunch,

growling stomach

combatants war in his brain.