with an empathy so fatal #44 by Darren C. Demaree

the children want to be

with their empathy
they want to hold

the rooster of each day
so they can show you

the rooster of each day
they’ve already asked

for tattoos of that rooster
on their chests

i told them if empathy
is an alarm if you think

empathy should be
an alarm then i find

no fault in you making
that permanent

the minute you’re eighteen
until then i’ll keep

buying orange to red
markers for your early

morning routine


Darren C. Demaree is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently “Two Towns Over,” which was selected as the winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press.  He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal.  He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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