Putting It Straight

                        Dan Carpenter

The real tragedy wasn’t
That Medea slaughtered her kids
David reduced a good man to a husband problem
Othello let blindness smash his life’s light
Mere horrors these were
And we’ve handled them
Wept, sagged, straightened, headed home
Thanking, honoring the storytellers
Who surely knew
The more likely outcomes
The sensible decisions
— For children, for virtue, for grudging trust,

For all that consumes and forgets us

Would seal the exits; make the theater a tomb.




Dan Carpenter has published poetry and fiction in Illuminations, Pearl, Poetry East, Southern Indiana Review, Maize and other journals. A collection of his poems, More Than I Could See, is forthcoming from Restoration Press. He lives in Indianapolis and is a columnist for The Indianapolis Star.