A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
My dad and I shared a lot of negative space: the time at the table
when he tried to force me to eat the end piece of bread,
which I couldn’t abide; the time he grounded me for a month
because I stayed an extra day on a hunting trip with some buddies;
the time, drunk, he tried forcing me to fight him teenage boy to man.
The one positive space we shared was my bedroom:
the way he allowed me to keep it as I saw fit, as long as it was clean
and uncluttered; the way he taught me how to make a military tuck
of the sheets and blankets; the way a quarter should bounce,
and when it did, the way he’d smile and clap my back. I lived for that.
After his ashes were interred, Emiko, my stepmother, went down
on her knees, sobbing That’s all there is? It was.
George Drew is the author of Drumming Armageddon (Madville, 2020).
Copyright 2021 George Drew.