John McDermott

Polysyndeton: A Love Story

for Audrey

And the girl at the breakfast table
has her mother’s eyes
and my crooked mouth
and hair like the braid
cut from my grandmother a century
ago, brown with strands of gold,
and once I thought that braid
was disturbing and now
what’s disturbing
is this fleeting thing,
and the girl smiles between
bites of cereal
and my heart lurches
like a log truck in a snow storm
too fast on the road for safety,
ice glistening and dangerous
under the wet fat flakes.

John A. McDermott was born on an isthmus. You can find his work at