A Cargo of Green Hearts
dad, I understand the madness that drove you
out the door when I was four. I too was not
enough for the world with my face of smashed
lightbulbs and the way that doors fled from me
out in the fields. I could never run fast enough
to keep up; my knees lacked ambitions and the
greased doorknobs were hateful. they slammed
themselves to splinters in rage. is it any wonder
that the trees with their long, vertical tolerance
took me in and the silence made room for me
in the pit of its old green arm. that I found
stars more familiar than faces and in the
unravelling of my tongue it was like kissing a
desert. you would never be good enough for us
and knew it, dad. your motorcycle trail was a box
of horizons. your face was like a little sliver of the
moon, not the whole pie. don’t worry dad, I have
done well. have gone on to be an olympiad
stumbler. have shook hands with holes in the
ground. have climbed up pines and bedded down
fetally in the nests of eagles, dreaming off limits.
have breathed long and slow when the trains
arrived without holding my breath. have shown
mercy to all living things like you have. they say I
am the saint of baby birds and road-kill toads.
you would be proud, dad. when the buckshot stag
ribboned out its guts across my yard in the velvety
night, I did not call anyone for help. I too am useless
beyond a simple kindness, a shrugged sympathy.
no one practices that anymore, dad. the world has
taken out stock in Band Aid. no one would dare
watch the stag die now. hold its inhuman head
in their lap and stoke it like a strange infant.
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