At the terminal
Before I was born before he was who he was
coming back from college in Rhode Island my father
saw striding across the floor of Grand Central
Station the familiar shape of his dad
off on another government trip They met
by accident surrounded by marble and sound
people coming and going while they stood
next to each other for a moment talking
Eulogy for your fathers
When the time comes, you will
Not need the words. Whether
He was someone whose love
Shone softly like a lamp on a piano
Or like the highbeams of a car
Arriving just in time. Whether his deeds
Went unnoticed by anyone but you,
Whether he cared for nobody but you,
Defended you until death or until
your first step into your own perilous
Maturity, I have the words for you.
Tell the others to remember how
From a man he grew into a father and that
Though from father he fell into a featureless
Future, dying as a shadow of himself
that he first was someone light itself
Had to bend around. Tell them you
Don’t need the words. You had a father.
The last night of the fall of my fifty-fifth year
Winter comes in
Hardly anyone will stay
Awake for it. TV in
Front of an empty couch.
Asserting order like a rake
Across dirt. It’s a season
I’m finally ready for.
Though every brilliant flick
Of survival by the wren on
The empty feeder mocks
My readiness. And in the
Quick corner of its eye
For the briefest wingbeat
Spring is looking at me.
Early August Near Midnight
At the edge of the house I cannot afford,
Old window open, conscience thin
Black screen barely a mesh between
Two environments. One built to keep
The other out, the other which does not
acknowledge even itself. Behind every
Wall upstairs the cricketsong of heartbeats.
The family’s dreams swirl around me:
These are fierce hunters. Bills and debts
Look for places to hide but the dark wins.
I know I will have to sleep, awake, pay
A daydream down. But tonight
I will enjoy their protection, my fears
Fleeing from the dreamy claws of trust.