The Mad Child-King Sleeps Late

Two days before
just after dawn,
and a sliver of moon
hangs like a sword
by a strand of horsehair
over the kitchen
where my father
drinks coffee.

I have at most
until noon
to tell a joke
on purpose,
and then it’s
anyone’s guess
what’s funny
or sad, or what
will cause him to
execute an hour.




Winner of the 2020 Poetry Chapbook Contest

Erik Wilbur is from Bullhead City, Arizona (or Sacramento, California, depending on the context of the question). Currently, he teaches writing at Mohave Community College in Lake Havasu City. He is also the program director of Real Toads Poetry Society, a nonprofit literary organization that provides opportunities for residents of Northwestern Arizona communities to learn about, experience, and share works of literary art. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Fresno State University in 2018.