Tag Archives: father

Six late winter mornings

Six late winter mornings

It’s the underlined day
On the calendar of forgiveness.
But I cannot make the call.

I get up early
To let the dogs out but

It’s too cold–they stay on the porch
As if waiting for a ride to pull up

Or a drink. I walk to the back yard
And relieve myself

Against the frosted grass.

The black rabbit
Lounges in his hut

By the family vegetable garden.
He often rode on the back of our dog.

One day he lay on his side,
Not waiting for the morning

Or for us to find him.
He was finished and he went.

Leaving only a stiff black shroud
And the sound of birds.

Winter leaves like that.

In our blizzard-crafted snow cave
We almost died

But the snow plow missed us as we hid.
Years later, my childhood friend Marty

in his capacity as a civil servant
of the public works

Tore up a curb with his plow right
Across the street from

Where we’d once schemed
How to pay for the garage window

We broke with a barrage of snowballs.

After an early March storm
I snuck out before my son woke

To make lumps in the snow
Like snake coils surfacing.

Over breakfast I swore
I saw the Loch Ness Snow Monster

Out the bay window in the plow drift:
When we went to investigate

He discovered a large egg
Of ice, snow, and dirt

By the edge of the plowed pile.
He demanded we take it inside.

We put it in the freezer
To see what would hatch.

Spring grows over the winter
Like a scar

The hurt season’s swelling

We almost over-reach for it
As if we prefer being sore

Over forgetting, a cloud
Ceiling over empty blue sky.

Small Song

Small Song 

A late August night, a day after my father’s eighty-third birthday.
High in the walnut trees the cicadas make a sound that can’t be spelled.

It is there like a leak in the sky, behind the tall walnut trees.

It is the air being let out of the summer.

Tea Ceremonies

Tea Ceremonies


Maybe aged twelve, I started staying up past 11
watching the local news with my dad
cup of tea and the Yankees score the daily last things

Tea that late never kept me awake
it was for time with my father
and learning tomorrow’s weather

In my dorm at college it attracted curiosity
people started coming to my room at eleven
arriving with mugs steaming coming to see the day done

One winter night we took it outside
into the courtyard in a snow flurry
three dozen students in flannel

pajamas sweatpants boots and mugs
spelling out T-E-A in giant letters
not a protest just a confirmation

atypical for that time and age
Tonight we talk after the kids are asleep
while you bathe I make you tea

which we take upstairs to our room
where last night a strange green insect
watched me from the windowsill

while I drank tea and wrote
about a dream and slept by you
awoke to today an empty cup to fill