Published on Academy of American Poets (


Healed by a microscope, the angel burns my missing son's hair

in the mirror's 
invisible stomach. 

I am in the blue school of that first shooting. 

Ohio radio treats fatigue as an error from sleep's past.

Art is a moon rock in a gun shop 
And death

God's refusal
to age.


Copyright © 2021 by Barton Smock. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 23, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I can't speak for all fathers, but my own fathering is littered with necessary and fake finalities. As such, I wrote this poem by hand on a small piece of paper while worrying about the long and short lives of my children. In the spacing of the poem, I tried to honor the little room I'd given myself for its projected concerns.”
Barton Smock


Barton Smock

Barton Smock is the author of the chapbook Skin to Skin in an Unmarked Life (Trainwreck Press, 2021).

Date Published: 2021-08-23

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