Father and Son

Dreamers Are Gluttons




Over  A Bowl Of Potato And Corn Soup, Mr. Marvin Tells Me How He Castrated Baby Goats


Love Poem #1

Leather Death Fruit and Flying -- A Consideration

The Mechanic Takes on Language

135th & Crossing

It Could've Been

Kermit's Jazz

The Muse



In Time

Bottomed Out Language

Such Fears

Spreading Out Histories

Days Unfold

There is a Flutter of Noise in My Head


Days Unfold


From this toy-sized pond on Plumb Road

a Blue Gill struggles at my feet,

the line spittle-like trails its lip to grass.

I don't pay attention to the familiar flop

and wheeze, instead I watch my neighbor

take his grandchildren for rides

in an old Ford tractor.  He circles, does figure eights;

three small heads bob behind him.


I want to wave, maybe stick my thumb out for a ride,

then, in the bump through high grass

and whir of mosquitoes, ask him

to drive past my driveway and his, past

Grambling, keep going to where we see

only corn-fields and cows

and the slow hills of Ohio.


His wife comes to their porch, waves to them--

the afternoon sun strikes her dress, her smile

of hip, causing me to shudder with a warmth

close to embarrassment.  He heads for home. 

The Gill already collects the first flies.  I study

the random breach of water and air when the fish jump.


After losing at love again, my father

flaked the empty barn with buckshot

where now daylight composes a litany

of shadows on the walls.  The barn's skeleton

folds a little more each season, just like the memory

of my father curling into floor dust, the puff of dirt

left in air to refract the sun like fish scales.


I sidearm a few stones, trying for at least five

good eyes rippling back to me.  I'm sure

that in an hour from now the children next door

will get restless.  Maybe after a breakfast

of hot cakes and honey they'll run outside

with the old man trailing them,

and I'll go over, ask if they'd like to fish.

Maybe ask for a ride on his tractor in return.

Until then, I'll sit here like every morning and daydream

of a woman not yet mine who stands next to me

in this marshy grass.  She'll block the sun with one hand,

place the other on my sunburned shoulder

and listen with me to the fish brush the surface.


Originally published in Sunstone 

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