Blues for the Fathers
The fathers keep on disappearing
into the sun. Every morning
a father flies east. In the afternoon
one'll drive west.
look at the man bend at his knees
to kiss a girl's cheek then rise
to ride invisible escalators
up the floors of the sky.
In the night
another steps out and tries on his metal
wings in the driveway—tin or something
hammered to such a thinness he lifts,
tilting toward sunrise.
Look at that
father open a letter at breakfast,
then careful to miss everyone's eyes,
push back his chair and let the light
swallow him at the door.
the one who pours himself more of that
clear drink till he sees right
through you, into a bright in the dark
that isn't the sun.
And a father comes
home from a journey, hospital, war...
only to disappear out a window,
leaving his heart still chugging
in its fuselage.
Yes, you know—
though moving closer was hard,
and the arms that held you never rose,
you leaned over, set your ear
to that burned hull, and heard.
This poem previously appeared in Book of Matches.