Spring 2015, Volume 18

Poetry by Laura Sobbott Ross

My Son, at Fourteen

A rumpled Apollo, he sleeps—
a beautiful sprawl, the silent industry
of bone and cell. Summer,
a fine shadow darkening
above the bow of his lip.
Outside, the grass grows thick
on small green lawns; he keeps
them honed, keeps a ledger
of neighbors’ yards he’s tended.
Man-ward, the size of sandwiches
he eats without a plate while
watching Spongebob, our two cats
drawn to press themselves against
the elegant length of his fingers and calves,
his scars and symmetries, the neck
of the guitar never far from his hands.
Mid-evolution, a song in his head
I can hear, remembering how I’d dreamed
of him in the womb, that perfect
conjunction between Venus and April
constellations, a single baby curl still
pressed like a petal in a book upstairs.
Now I can only sense from a distance
the disquiet beneath his own skin: Earth-tilt,
the raw bloom, the moon mazing
through phases; thresholds quaking
in the summative shrug of his shoulders,
the boy-smile grown tighter in orthodontics.
Who knew flip-flops came in size thirteen?
I wonder at the door, where I sweep
clippings of grass back into the air,
knowing the carefree weeds untangled
from this tight green cap of lawn
have already named themselves in his hands.




My poetry has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and appears in the
Valparaiso Poetry Review, Florida Review, Columbia Review, Calyx, Natural Bridge, Tar River Poetry, Cold Mountain Review, and many others. My chapbook, A Tiny Hunger, won a statewide contest from YellowJacket Press.