sam kendall


Apple trees overhung the pond my father and I canoed
Sunday afternoons after church. Ugly spheres,
covered in bruises like children’s heads.

Once I choked on the fruit, and he, with the balance
of the canoe’s carpenter, walked easily to my form,
wrapped his arms around my stomach, a rare hug,

and when he pulled, the chunk of yellow went flying,
briefly glorious, through the muggy day,
then disappeared into the muck.



I remember Abraham was willing and Isaac was bound.
When my father told me that story
I felt ropes around my torso.

I remember that one was coming who was greater,
whose sandals I would be unworthy to untie.
I remember that I would have to baptize him.

I remember that God was named Alpha and Omega.
When my father said Alpha I would breathe out,
and when he said Omega I would breathe in.

I remember that two thieves were hung beside Jesus:
the good thief who asked for forgiveness,
and the nameless thief who did his dying silently.

I don’t remember which was my father and which was me.


Late at Night I Remember the Trinity

Hours ago, I found my adopted son
asleep on the carpet among his toys,
drunk on his wealth.

And his mother, sleeping heavily on her side,
I divided her hair between my fingers
like Moses drawing lines in the sea

and escaped my troubles in the tedium of braiding.
Now I feel the burden of the last
consciousness in the house, like a father

who sent his child and spirit into world
to find someone to save.

Sam Kendall lives and works in Charlotte NC. He is an I.T. guy, a bassist, an artist, and a poet. He has spent his life working in the logistics industry and trying to make it in the poetry biz. He can be found on Instagram at @samdougken.