Writing Wednesdays | Puppetry Prose Poem | 5/31/2023

Ah, alliteration in that title. I read this at Fabled’s open mic night a while back. I had a recording but the video quality wasn’t great so I decided against uploading it, at least for now.

He doesn’t talk much. There’s a cold detachment about him. His eyes, dark and deep as the recesses of space, gaze at nothing.

You try your best to stay away from him, but on occasion you end up in the path of his gloomy stare. Making eye contact prompts chills. If you look too closely you think you see something desperate in his face, a tightness around his eyes and mouth that hints at pain.

Whose? You have no idea and you’d rather not find out.

His father takes some pleasure in having control over him. He keeps his son on a tight leash. He follows like an oversized shadow.

He’s quiet save for the occasional grunt or “Yes, sir,” though the latter tends to only be given out after his father prompts him. There’s resentment there, no doubt, bubbling under the surface of an outward calm.

You don’t realize just how fragile the peace between them is until it’s broken.

The common response to his father’s orders are motions more like a puppet’s instead of a living thing’s. More often he doesn’t move at all, simply looming in the background. The puppet has its strings cut, or, at the very least, entangled. It might be sad if it wasn’t so unnerving.

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