A boy crosses the threshold to manhood in Joy Ladin’s poem, but he’s not the only one who has changed.
In the Name of the Father
for my son on his 18th birthday
The son enters his father’s name
like a man entering a cabin
abandoned for years.
Hinges squeak, a spider spins
a sticky shimmer
across the single window.
The man sits, sleeps,
stamps on the floor and shakes the walls, frightens birds,
leaves the bed unmade. Locks the door behind him.
The father changes. The name remains
in the deep woods of becoming.
From time to time, the son returns
to stretch out on the bed
and watch the spider, busy above,
spinning rage into love.
Joy Ladin has published with us before. Read her “I, Robot.”
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Photo by Karsten H.68 /Flickr