A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
I keep trying to persuade my father
into a better opinion of me now that he is dead.
Last night, flying home,
I was distracted
as a passenger seated himself
a few rows ahead of me,
by how much the back of his head
resembled my father’s.
I continued reading,
only now I was reading to my father
thousands of feet below
in a cemetery
many hours away through the dark.
What is noon but midnight turned inside out?
The hardest part of any journey is remaining
where you are
until you have figured out where that is.
Several days before cancer killed my son’s mother,
she quietly asked me to plant daffodils
that came up months later
outside the doorway of a friend
wise enough to speak to her only of flowers.
My voice is made mostly of silence.
The rest of my words have very little to say.
A single shooting star falls so quickly its silence
keeps falling after.
Sappho, Mary Magdalene: They do not think alike, but they do
think in the same size.
My last hope is for the death of hope—
the beginning of vision.
The sun passing over me from the inside out.
Copyright 2018 Louie Skipper. From The Work Ethic of the Common Housefly (Settlement House, 2018).