Portrait of My Father as the Trojan Horse
Tory AdkissonPoetry / Number 95
Say father, father & listen for war. Stay
quiet and listen for a drum
beat, the same as the heart of war.
The breath of men is a reckless sound
that splinters in the throat. Dad drinks
a little then a little more, and I wait and I wait.
When the Greeks leave they leave their shadows
burned into the walls, their ships
hurtling away from the coast
like a wake of vultures toward another
carcass that must be pillaged.
All it took to sack the city of Troy
was letting the wrong horse into its stables.
And me? I was the poor fool who listened
against the slats of his wooden
flank for a sound like love
and always let him in.
Tory Adkisson earned his MFA at The Ohio State University, where he formerly edited The Journal. His poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Barrow Street, Third Coast, Quarterly West, Linebreak, and elsewhere. He currently lives in San Diego where he’s at work on a first book of poems.Image by Juliet Furst