These are men in blue jeans. They have a handle on the neighborhood.
They cultivate a bush. They hunch around and keep it secret.
They surround the bush like plumbers on a problem.
Children come over. They try to get a glimpse of the bush.
Boys peer at it.
They climb their fathers’ backs. They push their fathers’ legs.
This is man’s work. It is not the work of boys.
Inside the bush, there is a baby.
The baby is sleeping.
The fathers could not save the others, who did not grow much past the size of golf balls.
This baby, however, has lived to full size. It is green. It slightly cries.
The men do not feed it. They need only let in sunlight.
Boys swell in groups and smash against their fathers.
We want in! We want in! demanded every boy.
No, argued the wall of fathers. Never.
So you require of us that we never experience the world?
One father grabbed his son and wrenched him in.
The baby breathes. Its foot, the stem, curls into the ground.
The boy hid his eyes.
This is a private matter, says his father. Do you see?
The fathers hope the boy will be let go. They could not do this to their sons. Their sons were scared. Their sons stood still behind their fathers.
The man’s boy whimpered. The baby writhed.
The father pushed the boy to touch the baby.
The boy held onto his father.
The father forced his hand and spread his fingers until finally they touched.
They baby’s skin was like a grape.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, it said.
Robert Eversmann works for Deep Overstock. His website is roberteversmann.com.