Fall 2018 Editor Picks

Bitter Pill

by Witney Dupree

I regurgitate beliefs I was fed as a child
and dangle them before the wide-open mind of my son.

Not the fried chicken values and potato salad principles
I ate from checkered tablecloths on sunny afternoons.

These kernels of untruth were wrapped in cheese
of stuffed inside the sticky center of a marshmallow.

I wish my lips would swell shut from the bee sting
words swarming from the hive of my subconscious.

Those cyanide phrases I don't crack a tooth on,
but spit out for the next generation.

He devours my contaminated convictions
like an altricial starling secure in the nest,

and I clench the steering wheel with useless fists,
because shoving a finger down his throat won't help him.