The Stoning

The Stoning

I know this face,
chiseled stone.

He pulls to the side of the road,
gravel spits at our legs,
mine shaking, him yelling,
at you
to get in the car,
teethed curses spilling through
the window.

I know this face.
His face.
In your face.

What ‘re ya?

Door slams
closing out the ink of diesel,
the exhausted overpass,
Well, are ya?

Goodyear’s churn with
your lies from the comfort
of our backseat cave.

I am a stone face.

I know this face.
Chiseled. Scraped.

An absent father.
Playing at guilt.

You ask me to fix your
hair as if it was the wind
of traffic that mussed it.

When you give me the
barrettes, I stare at the
pink hickey on your neck.

I can still smell his buddy’s
stink on your hands.

I am stone-faced.


This poem was prompt via dVerse, where we are encouraged to write about a memory, memory in general, or the memory.


17 thoughts on “The Stoning

  1. Terrific writing and your words are packed with grit, and hard emotional undertones ~

    Stone-faced, the father and child relationship is the most challenging to manage without the complications of absence & guilt ~

  2. This was hard, in your face, harsh and I get it. I remember my daughter and I fighting, her getting out of the car. I remember the exasperation, the desperation. I remember wanting to save her and being angry because I knew I didn’t know how. To say I’m relieved to say she’s grown and good most days is an understatement. Well done.

  3. Wow, an emotional fastball that strikes and knocks me off balance with frighteningly lucid memories !! How cleverly you turn so many phrases;
    “gravel spitting at our legs,”
    “ink of diesel,”
    “exhausted overpass,”
    “Goodyear’s churn with
    your lies from the comfort
    of our backseat cave.”
    I am left “stone-faced” struck out by your intensely poetical curveballs !!!

  4. … I think I have it figured out and it turns my stomach – yet I know this scenario plays out all too often. Barrettes hint at a prepubescent girl to me, and an angry father, blaming his daughter, not his friends. Or expecting his young daughter to accept his friends despicable molesting behavior…

    I have a friend who still talks to her father… and he used to creep into her room and touch her for years… it went no further but… sends shivers through me!

  5. I’ve never had the courage to write about those agonizing times when my daughter (only child) was a teen. It was the most transformative time of my life. Now she’s a Mom, a lovely woman and a wonderful friend. Hope it was the same for you. I liked reading your poem, it was so honest and clear.

  6. Agree with Brian – this is a heartbreaking poem – very well rendered – there is some ambiguity but that somehow makes it more intense and personal. Very strong poem. k.

  7. whew, what an intense memory with some scary undertones to it,,,hard memories…the barrettes make me think young child, mixed with hickey sna smell of daddy’s friends makes this rather heartbreaking…

Speak to me of thoughts unspoken.

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