There aren’t many like him anymore, the handy, soft-spoken old ones, who still know how to farm, how to raise up a house you can live in, how to still-hunt a whitetail.
I keep trying to persuade my father
into a better opinion of me now that he is dead.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind…
We go into the dark and the dark opens.
Boats tipped with light and moon on the water.
A Repeating Dream I’m Belly-Down at Eleven
beneath barbwire like bedsprings during night-climbs
Sweet hyssop and the sweltering hives
from which sail bees, their resolute flight
into July, into my garden.
He went out. Into the ocean’s black maw. To save. To rescue. Didn’t, as they say, come back. Death is funny like that, precise, dissolute.
When his mind grew empty
and his heartbeat slowed to a vague stutter,
our father no longer walked the fields at night.
Swirling, confident, those sax notes stretch and blow
above the drums, full of his blue notes,
fifty years ago, new as now.
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