By Sam Whited

To the sultry roll of a mandolin,   your child came. Not my child, you understand, but yours: The bastard son of a father who left him   in my fumbling hands, Outstretched, and ready to receive the head,   just starting to crown.

I thought it would be loud— The wail of an out of tune fiddle;   a banjo with a missing string. But the evening is still,   The only sound the mandolin. Its decaying tremolo,   A silent music, and quiet, as we wait: You working, I with baited breath,   and anticipation, Of the cry that’s yet to come.

A response to the National Poetry Month prompt