Decembered ~ a poem by Duy Quang Mai

“Tree in winter” by Sarah Horrigan / Creative Commons.

December dragged its slow funeral into the father’s

blue-blur hands. Car swerved past wind-torn highways,

through the family’s tunnels of hearts. The grandfather

pressed his head against car’s window. Anesthesia, early doses.

Splintered radio static. Billboards of safe sex with condoms

and toxic relationship breakdown. The grandfather kept

breathing. Around them, treetops all worn bare with

winter’s new grief-coat. Fake-leather seats stank of all–boys,

over-rented apartments. This family was real despite everything

else. The mother clenched the son’s palms, his eyes towards

the paper sky where geese were writing letters. In the rearview

mirror, the father looked at the grandfather slouching in

the backseat. His unworded eyes, something like the shade of

the son’s imagined first snow. Its too-soon act of melting.

Contributor Bio

Duy Quang Mai is from Hanoi, Vietnam and is currently studying in Sydney, Australia. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming from The American Poetry Review, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Cordite and others. He is the author of the chapbook Journals to (Story Factory, 2019).


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