“Knock Knock” – Poetry by Todd Dillard

Laughing Boy – Steve Wheeler, 1949

“Knock Knock” is one of three vivid & tender poems of love, parenthood, and mortality by Todd Dillard in our Summer 2018 issue.

{ X }

after I am dead

today I laugh knowing
after I am dead
we will laugh together

today you laugh
and do not know
one day I will not
be there to answer the door

I have a secret: I laugh especially
when things are not funny

a mouth without laughter
is a river that’s lost
its water

I laugh to forget
I laugh too to remember

the autumn air saddles the tree
and the tree whinnies with laughter

I laugh for the times
I could have laughed
but didn’t

I laugh for the times
I would laugh
but will not

my laughs love and mourn and see
they are like living that way

just now your tiny finger
touched my nose
and you laughed

and when tears
tripped down my cheek
that same finger
touched their snail-shine

you said, No cry

and I laughed

you are
so young and wise

I will take
your advice
to my grave

{ X }

TODD DILLARD ‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Barrelhouse, Nimrod, Superstition Review, Crab Creek Review, and Split Lip Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and daughter. You can find him on twitter via @toddedillard.

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