This poem is taken from Stand 216, 15(4) December 2017 - February 2018.

Alex Houen Two Poems
On Balance

for my daughter, aged 2


Morning is a family trip to a troglodyte city
    of caves to picture how the Neolithics
were always between a rock and hard
    people. I take a long shot  
of you looking minute out to hills and river —
    it looks as though the cave is set to chew
you into view. When you let the camera drop
    our faces fall. Some instant distance never stops
feeling like the more you
    try to cross it sadly it will never  
let you bridge it. No wonder humans rarely dwell long out-
    side of rectangles these days. Then we remembered
the nearby zoo’s endangered kebabs (‘Susliks’?)
    and fell back to making up our trogloditty
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