Gods and Progeny

Jane Rosenberg LaForge

October 25, 2022


By this time in the play or dramatic
rendering, we’d be tallying losses,
your progeny to my gods; or one man’s
chances stretched over the rubble
of a life that atoned for nothing
versus one girl’s odds, inevitably.
The audience will decide who
triumphs, or holds the advantage,
just as they have settled on
the symbology of greater works,
such as when Fitzgerald illustrated
how people could be nonchalant
as they deployed the most lethal
of tactics. I’m disappointed my mother,
who memorized every word
and interpretation of that literary
giant, did not understand this, though
I suppose that’s a failure of her
education: not her fault, exactly.
Or it could be a sign of a shift
in the culture; that I am suddenly
possessed of the power to define
what happens next in our story
as the backdrop is free of chatter
that was air to us, and yet separately
we are still breathing, rehearsing
that tricyclic banter. I’ve waited
twenty-eight years to write this
poem, during which my daughter
contemplated a career in removing
polymers from the soil before
choosing one eminently more forgiving,
in retail. The problems acknowledged
by two people made separate
through time and trajectory
have risen to the significance
that only gods can resolve, but ours
are not among those that catch
their notice.

Jane Rosenberg LaForge is the author of three full-length poetry collections, four chapbooks, a memoir, and two novels. Her next full-length poetry collection will be My Aunt’s Abortion from BlazeVOX [Books] in February 2023. She lives in New York, reviews books for American Book Review and reads poetry for COUNTERCLOCK literary magazine.