to 5

    on the 5ives




Struck by lightning on a mountaintop! The child, standing next him, miraculously spared! He remembers his face, the shape of the lightning, the smell like damp clothes: the father at hospital, covered in burns. He brings friends for a visit. They point at the tubes. “This one for eating. This one for pee.” The friends nod slowly, amazed.

“But where is the mother?” says a voice from the gallery, “gone to comfort a friend? who may not live through the night?” She is at home in the parlor, thumbing through newsprint. Or smiling into old photos: photos of her youth, photos of her ancestors. “Ahhh,” says the voice, “she is symptomatic of the age.”



domestic scene with act of nature


joseph starr