A few years ago, on the heels of a sonnet-writing jag, I became interested in famous sonnet hybrids like George Meredith's Modern Love, Hayden Carruth's paragraphs, and Rafael Campo's canciones. Inspired, I cooked up my own recipe for a not-a-sonnet: a discordant 13-liner (rhymed only at will). Here's one in honor of Father's Day…
He held the small boy on the couch
while the doctor clipped the thin stitches
in his chin. If he could have made that
tiny metaphor painless, he would have,
but knew of no escape from the chasm of
a living room a child is bleeding in,
as a pin sutures what was born
perfectly made. Tearless, the child closes
his eyes in trust, white-lipped, afraid.
So the father wraps his arms around
the little braveness that is him, and Him,
and ultimately, himself: a child's back pressed
to a man's frightened, furiously pounding chest.
from Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press)