Jerome Daly

Jerome Daly is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire and winner of the Richard “Dick” Shea Memorial Prize. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Charles River Journal, The Manhattanville Review, Gamut, The Slag Review, Leveler, The Chafee Review, and the Long River Review.


Child’s Play


The ants came crawling

Out of the splintered cement

Into oxygen,


While I sped through them

With Matchbox cars—blue & red,

Speeding & crashing.


I went to the shed,

Grabbing a rusty container

Full of gasoline.


Smashing the windows

In the tiny vehicles,

Dropping ants inside.


Over them I drizzled

A licorice shimmer,

A fluid rainbow.


Six windows line

The west side of the house,

All closed up with curtains.


In the living room

A clock encased in glass sits on the mantel.

I snip the two wires.


I snap the crayons

Left out

By my parent’s older son.




I take father’s belts,

Slap them on the cutting board,

Chop them in half.


On the burners of the stove,

I place ground pepper,

Turning the flames to high.


Inside is coated

With ashen specks everywhere—

I’ll have to scrub for months.


I take a packet

Of dental floss & wrap it

Around the house, twice.


I kneel. Blowing hard,

I watch the flames—

The ants keep moving.


They always keep moving.