Dear Father

(Inspired by Goya’s ‘Saturn Devouring His Son’)

Some prior departure sired a pregnant rift.
Am I not meant to be? Fate can collapse
beneath plump gods covetous of the gift
mere birthright can’t secure. Still, life adapts.
The foul’s obliged to trespass on the fair.
Read the stars. No table’s set for some except 
to shatter dishes. ‘Venture back from where
your mother came.’ Itinerant, she wept
in earnest for good fortune left behind.
Weird Sisters fouled the fair, then stewed this trial
of mounting error. Nor am I to find
within myself the power to reconcile
a spilling forth forever outside-in.
Thus stillborn, I disgorge your jealous sin.

NORMAN BALL is a poet, playwright, essayist and musician residing in Virginia. A featured poet on Prairie Home Companion, his poems and essays have appeared in Light Quarterly, The Raintown Review, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Epicenter, Oxford Magazine, The Cumberland Poetry Review, 14 by 14, Rattle, Liberty, The Hypertexts, Main Street Rag, The New Renaissance, The Scotsman, The London Times among dozens of others. His essay collections, How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable? (2010) and The Frantic Force (2011), both widely available on the web, are published by Del Sol Press and Petroglyph Books, respectively. His recent play SIDES: A Civil War Musical (Inspired by The Red Badge of Courage) is currently being produced for TV by Last Tango Productions, LLC.