Rob MacDonald

Five Sons

you have five sons and name them     one two three four five     it’s tough to overcome emotions
but you try to adore them equally      charting forehead kisses to ensure consistency     halfway

through the study     they learn to subtract     two of them are fighting with sticks     & you yell
negative one     the project calls for identical ties     your graduate assistant asks you why

you didn’t simply name them subject     everyone expects five to be arrested     but he plays viola
whenever one     turns seventeen     you put him through extensive tests     an obstacle course

& scan his brain     while he paints     three seems to be     left-handed & pretty     quiet     you publish
their IQ scores     in a journal of mathematics     the five sons scatter     oslo tunis tempe fresno fargo

a librarian wants to date you     marry you hyphenate you     you spend so much     time in the study
proving nothing     at the end of every day     five postcards on a desk     five notes in your wine

Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of Sixth Finch. His poems can be found in Gulf Coast, Sink Review, iO, inter|rupture, H_NGM_N, and other journals. He has books forthcoming from Rye House Press and Racing Form Press.
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