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In Egypt five thousand years ago

they had tables and dogs they named.

Maybe a girl had both but wanted

for toys. And what have we ever

really done except dig or build?

So she scooped up sand and drizzled

it on the table. And when the square 

alabaster would not suffer another grain, 

she yelled for the one who called her 

Meritites because it means “loved by her father,”

and he saw the pointed polyhedron and the one

he named well, then stepped outside to a map

of the sky and the light that told him 

where to reach.

Five thousand years later we have tables,

a dog we named, my son digs and builds,

but there is no great labor for me, just

operation in metaphors of the past. I am

called in to see his pyramids of myriad material

and in his light the ancient enchantment

of order and need. I see a son loved by his father

and all I want to build, this timeless desire

to stack up stones in a way they might not

topple down. 


Poet Christopher Forrest
Christopher Forrest

Christopher Forrest lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife and three young children. He received his undergraduate education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked in finance for nearly a decade before returning to school for his MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. After graduating, he joined Press 53 and has worked there as poetry editor for the last six years. His poems and essays have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Cagibi, The Ekphrastic ReviewHeirlock, Storgy, and elsewhere. Outside of writing, he enjoys a busy and fulfilling family life, training for triathlon, and vinegar-based BBQ sauce. 


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