That arrowhead

I found it while digging in the back yard.

It could have been an arrowhead.

But, then again, it might have been nothing

but a stone coincidentally shaped that way.

Who’s to say it didn’t pierce an enemy’s chest?

Only the elements, perhaps,

the wind, the rain, that hone so much.


It sat on the dresser of my room

along with posters of my movie heroes –

did they really risk their lives fighting bad guys

or were they merely Hollywood lounge lizards,

wife beaters, war-dodgers, drunkards?

a couple of sporting trophies—

was it talent or mere luck?


My father said he couldn’t be more proud of me

did that mean he could be less proud?

and, every night, like maternal clockwork,

my mother kissed me goodnight—

through duty or genuine affection?


I still have that arrowhead. Or that rock.

It’s hard to be comforted

when it’s one thing or the other.



By John Grey