Judson Mitcham


Weight
   
My grandson, possible iconoclast
and almost three, means to understand weight,
testing things to see what he can lift,
what he can move. He shoves a box of books. 
He hoists a bag of groceries. If he could,
he’d push the sofa across the room. So here we are,
the whole family, in the last days of June,
visiting the Georgia State Capitol—the building
cool and mostly empty; in the rotunda
and elsewhere, marble busts of famous men
on pedestals as heavy as small trucks.
My grandson passes through security and runs
toward where I’m standing,
next to Alexander H. Stephens—immutably white,
his eyes open and blank, the Vice President
of the Confederate States, known for making clear
the cornerstone of his new nation:
the supremacy of the white race. And in his first
oblivious political act, our little Caucasian
throws his shoulder into the stone,
as though to take down that pillar where it stands,
and I pretend to give him a hand, but
I’ve had my chance.





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