The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Nicholas McCarthy

Her Children Play with Chains


The engine rattled in the early mornings,
waking the children who yelled in hunger and sleep, impotence
and fear of growing up. She would feed
them with dreams of shooting stars—blink and you miss them.

When she worked on manners, they peeked

through holes in chain-link fences and on afternoons, they took

her jewelry, necklaces and wedding band, to pass
the time. She graffitied patches into their cloths and their hearts
on the wall so they would stay. They played
cops and robbers in the grass near the kiddie pool. Father cried
because he knew what he wanted. Everyone
drowned on a budget and cigarettes. It was all stranger years later.




NICHOLAS McCARTHY is a copy editor for The Worcester Review based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Since a young age, he has had a passion for poetry and the written word. In 2014, he graduated from Boston College and has since begun his journey into the world of published poetry. Focusing on themes of division, intimacy, and mortality, his poetry seeks to affect its readers in unique and inspired ways.



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