Richard King Perkins II



For three days I’ve carried you
on my back even though
you keep falling off.

Unhurt, I help you
atop my shoulders once more
praying that you’ll cling
to me so tightly my hair will
tear out in clumps.

Your tiny body keeps falling though—
my special child.
At last, I hide you
beneath the roots of an ancient tree
that the scavengers might not desecrate you.

In eulogy, I preen knots
from your monkey fur and leave only
when the leopard scent grows too near.





Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a a daughter, Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Fox Cry, Two Thirds North and The Red Cedar Review. He has work forthcoming in Bluestem, Poetry Salzburg Review and The William and Mary Review.

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