For my Dad

I’ve said my say, yet I could never say enough or you say as much either:

Silence, this is what always began our talk.

The features of his face are like a ritual and resolution.

I am so glad you are here.

No, No. He does not say such things, but I know they are there.

It is all done in clean linen

as if with Norwegian phrases with quiet approval.

Both, a language we do not know.

Going beneath the covers,

I read it, turning and turning pages

full of words

which after a while sort of make sense.


It is now a time.

In a long time, doubtless

I was angry with my unfamiliarity

evening was low, I drive home

and you have just again caused me to retreat

just like the days I turn the corner

and look down our street, seeing your car waiting in the drive waiting for me

waiting for you to leave, and hiding in the field two houses down.


You probably don’t remember this— so easily the boat shouldering into the rushes

on that great big lake called Crystal

Kelly! Kelly ! We need to be over there!

You point away from where we are headed

as your line gets caught on the bottom catching only weeds

as the storm comes in overhead.


Each of these days functioned

as we say it, in approximation, in distance.

Incidentally meaning of course, the pertinent details that go on

and went by and are turned away.


A growing strong

a cleaning of the table

a sitting with my father and speaking

or at least like falling in November snow

and looking up and waiting for it to fall.

In: Poetry