The Boy and the Boy Looking Back

Trey Moody | Poetry

The boy says, to the mirror, I am good, I want

to be good, I am good, his mother hurrying him to school

before her work, his father dead from not being good

to his heart, the inevitable weight, the boy knows,

of his whole life ahead of him, how the boy will be asked

and then no longer asked to make choice after choice

until they stop feeling like acts of free will but instead

like rivulets exposed in cracked river stone. It will be

up to him, he knows it, or it won’t, and which was it,

when he killed the squirrel with a pellet gun, when

he regarded the dull eyes like holes cut into dusk,

the fists stiffened, seemingly, for whatever would come

next? I am good, I want to be good, I am good, he says again,

but the mirror says nothing back. The boy learns,

from this, the shape his one face makes. From this,

the boy learns he can outrun anything but that shape.