I was told you just died

Poetry by | September 2, 2007

All day long for two days I had longed to see you
Now you are dead
And all I have is this desire
Monumental and cracked
To run as fast as I can
Into the unyielding heat of the desert sun
Into the hot fury of my own heart
Where love long and immemorial
Could not save you
I was told you smiled on your way out
Knowing you it had to be the thousand little golden stars of your childhood
The ones that named you after their own light
Because like them you too are brilliant
And of another world
You were perhaps seven or eight again
Or maybe a grown man as you are now
Comforting yourself as you begin to die
Among the same stars that came to you in the same dream
Always in the softest glow and the scent of cinnamon

My father standing very still

Poetry by | August 12, 2007

His face half-lit by the sun
half-lost in a thought that follows someone
from the window he sees his children
faces brightly packed with purpose
impatient with a pet sunning on the driveway
and their mother’s first message of the day

He knows the fine hours are over
the neighborhood cars all starting
grinding to dust the singing of neighborhood birds
then they will roam the streets and the city
will growl like an awakened beast
he loves the beast nevertheless

He loves what he does not have to get used to
if at its designated time and place
because everything moves a little closer home
he says to himself
including those that hurt my ears
and those I have never heard

In the evening my father tells his story
in a voice ripened by his own silence he says
a street is stretched longer
by cars that speed on it
the length shoots beyond space
beyond what men see and know

When cars speed on
they iron out the heavy trudges
left by men whose footsteps know
the weight of the universe
cars have no feelings
they do not understand what footsteps are all about

My father comes to stand very still
by the window late in the dark
when he finally goes to bed he speaks
to himself his hands clasped as in prayer
a day always turns itself in he says
no more innocent than men it needs sleep