The Boy Who Crawled

by Thomas R. Smith



T.R. Smith


This poem appears in Thomas R. Smith's latest book, The Dark Indigo Current
The Dark Indigo Current book cover
Holy Cow! Press
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Once there was a boy who loved pancakes.
But when the family met for Sunday breakfast,
his mother left him home-so the boy crawled
in on all fours, but his sister hit him
with a potato masher while his father watched.
Today I visited that boy in the hospital.
Whenever someone came into the room, he'd rise
from his chair-erupt is a better word-
thin chest puffed out like a banty
rooster, arms stiff at his sides.
When the social worker, a kindly blond
woman, introduced herself, he stood even
stiffer, eyes enormous behind thick
trifocal lenses. "Your father feels vulnerable,"
she told me, "and he's afraid."
Because his father never stood up for him,
he has to keep standing, says, "I'm not
in trouble," and "I can walk without
a cane." At seventy-nine he'd rather
risk falling than be seen to crawl.

       © 1997 by Thomas R. Smith

Hear MP3 WebCasts from a reading by Robert Bly and Thomas R. Smith, editor of the first United States anthology of Alden Nowlan's poems, When He Went to the Store for a Loaf of Bread.

Other Poems by Thomas R. Smith

This appeared in:
The Dark Indigo Current
Holy Cow! Press
$12.95
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Affectionate Witness, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Boy Who Crawled, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Reply, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

The Road to Kenora, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

Admiring My Father, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

This appeared in:
Horse of Earth book cover
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My Father Promised Me a Sword, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

The Cruel One, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Come In from the Rain!, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem originally appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Late for Thanksgiving Dinner, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.


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