Why I Shouldn’t Have Read My Daughter The Shining

by Rob Griffith


“You know the old saying, ‘Milk goes with cookies, and blood goes with love.’”
Evie, age six

Perhaps it’s bad we read so much to you
when you were small.  We’d turn the lamp down low,
a gibbous moon to light the page, then fold
the blankets back beneath your chin and hands.

And as you dozed, Odysseus the cold
plied empty seas, then slipped back home and strung
his bow.  The suitors fled, but not before
he feathered spines and hearts, washed floors in blood.

And still we read to you—the Trojan War,
the star-crossed trysts, Medea’s bloody plans.
The ghosts, the poisoned ears and severed tongues,
and pain, there’s always pain.  And you will know
that love is something fierce, a hatchet thud
upon your door, a madman breaking through.


Rob Griffith’s latest book, The Moon from Every Window (David Robert Books, 2011), was nominated for the 2013 Poets’ Prize; and his previous book, A Matinee in Plato’s Cave, was the winner of the 2009 Best Book of Indiana Award.  His work has appeared in PN Review, Poetry, The North American Review, Poems & Plays, The Oxford American, and many others. He is the editor of the journal Measure and is chair of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Evansville, Indiana.

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