When the wife finally leaves
at nightfall, he goes outside.
Broken sprinklers spray the lawn
mower underneath the untamed
blueberry shrub. The monkey
bars look corroded and uneven.
The boys don’t hang on them anymore.
He almost steps on a plastic crocodile
as he zigzags through the yard,
passes the pool full of algae,
the sagging umbrella by the grill,
the reclining chairs, the swimming
trunks from last July. He heads
to the oak and climbs it. The tree
house feels smaller but snug.
He sits there. Someone fires
a cannonball from a pirate ship
and knocks the rising moon.
Shahé Mankerian’s manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press (Fall Poetry Book Award), and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize.