Thursday, August 19, 2021

New Poetry by Brian Rihlmann

Pencil marks

I park in the cul-de-sac,
stop at the bottom 
of the driveway and 
grab the mail from the box.
The garage door’s open
so I take that route.
Before going in I pause and 
look at the pencil marks 
on the door jamb, 
just like the ones 
from my childhood bedroom.
I was always so eager
to be tall like Dad.
I waited impatiently 
for a summer growth spurt
that never quite came,
bugged her every week
to check it again.
Standing here now
I examine hers 
from ten years ago, 
five, and one from this year;
a half inch below the last,
a half inch closer to the ground.
I go in the house.
She’s in the kitchen.
Hi Mom, I say. I hug her. 
Squeeze. Too much.
Not so tight, she says.
You’ll break my bones.
I let her go, then.
I’m sure I’ve already broken her
more than enough.

- © Brian Rihlmann 2021

Brian Rihlmann lives in Reno, Nevada. His work has appeared in many magazines, including Chiron Review, The Main Street Rag, The American Journal Of Poetry, and New York Quarterly. He has authored three collections of poetry, most recently “A Screaming Place,” (2021) by Cajun Mutt Press.

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