To My Daughter’s First Boyfriend ~ poetry by Kerry Trautman

You don’t know—but I do—that you’re going to break her.
She is a mountainside carpeted in heather and lupine. Whether

or not you intend to, there are these fissures you will
chisel, and she will carry the itch of them into every future

man’s arms, and they will never be able to reach
them to scratch and satisfy. It’s the nature of slowly-

dying petalled things to assume they have so
much time just here in purpleness, when the wind knows

how far seed could spread with the right gust, and with
the right gust how the stem could snap with color still

flagging the grounded top. Your firstness places that chisel
in your unworthy fist, tricks the bloom in her into

believing today’s sun is the only thing worth phototroping
for. I’ll try not blame you when you do it, but she will.

Kerry Trautman was a poetry editor at “Red Fez” from 2016-2022. Her work has appeared previously in The Disappointed Housewife, as well as in various anthologies and journals including Midwestern Gothic, Bureau of Complaint, and Gasconade Review. Her poetry books are Things That Come in Boxes (Kingcraft Press 2012), To Have Hoped (Finishing Line Press 2015), Artifacts (NightBallet Press 2017), To Be Nonchalantly Alive (Kelsay Books 2020), and Marilyn: Self-Portrait, Oil on Canvas (Gutter Snob Books 2022). Her next, as-yet-untitled, poetry collection is forthcoming from Roadside Press. Show Kerry some love via PayPal at kbtu2(at)yahoo(dot)com.