Now you've caught my long distance run on past the wooded panorama the vast water a morning sunlit shimmer pleases me well beyond the chance of knowledge.
Here's a paper airplane, sport laces tight, goat-like pliable ankles, the break barrier boulders, bigger than machines, smooth stone leaps.
I may have thought other words for blue, even clear-cold is suspicious, high and low brow, that cloud bank with airplanes coming from it.
Breath louder than waves.
Bottom deep breathing.
Breath caught bird-like catching.
An air struggle.
Real sand and torn rusted ship slices.
A faceless dime store watch.
Skeletal seagull in smooth charcoal char.
A well rusted thick gauge mesh.
For an escape?
From the Edmond Fitzgerald?
The bird and patron dead, PSITTACOSIS.
Its edge sharper than a barber's shear.
Tetanus this far from my home.
A wet suit para-sail sailor without wind.
Expressionless a strange face on water.
Bay lights burn a smog bank.
Old iron sustained, plastic to be gathered for new knees.
Snort, honk, real loose.
Walk it then toward Otis Pier.
That was not a wheeze.
Odd to do jumping jacks on shells and rounded stone, the orchestra on strike.
I heard they came to bury you.
You would be appreciative of my presence.
Jesus, I wish that we could talk.
For you I will say I am sorry for our loss, reminding the next of kin, where we've been.
With loud voice I would think of asking permission to read
Death has No Dominion.
You would listen as you always do.
You would be proud of my well shaved features.
And playfully let on that you knew it was me who swiped your Salems, one, two, then whole addictions weekly from atop the stereo.
Yes, yes it is always springtime.
You, of the Greatest Generation, would be impressed at the cut of my jib, my internet sport coat, an alligator on my grey polo.
Well, well, well here's your holy card.
I have sequential collection of these.
I would try to make a joke.
Just not to cry like a little boy.
You always caught on.
You always wondered why I would say that now.
Although your mind rapid as the doomsday clock would be with those of ours who preceded you in death.
Those crew cut blond children of your womb, your man a clock puncher, an always old spry cowboy poke, his secret amber bottle thirst, no Sunday habit, not even whiskey.
That mandolin strummed by shop-torn hands.
Dead now thirty years, who once said when he was a boy he'd slept by the starred river and stayed warm beneath sawed pine boughs.
I remember how he left in winter, too.
An identical cloudless January day.
Rock salt, the sun too far and heavy coat cold.
A sacrilegious acquaintance laughed when I told him how his ground needed to be thawed by bonfire before the digging.
Some people's kids!
No, no, I never followed through with all that journalism.
You'd sure get a kick out of stuff like 'implied parenthetical' I bet.
You know they have you write your own obituary day one.
Nothing for damn sure.
I am a poet.
That is why I would think of asking permission to read aloud.
Death Has No Dominion
for our family.
I don't know why not.
I mean really.
That hot afternoon of garage round ball hoops.
Hipster slang for orange ball.
Those news reports of the Texas Tower sniper.
Your grimace and terror as you tilled those gumball tulips.
Your man tightening the wheel barrel, its to and fro, where poppies grow.
You know where I'm coming from.
Me and you and your sons.
Never never a good neighbor fence.
Concord backyard grapes.
Pasture scale lilacs.
Always summer hazed with grief.
The trick or treater, grown somehow neater.
That laugh of yours, always something fast and kind to say, your Reader's Digest way.
This may not be polite, but once in a blue moon I heard argument and brisk soliloquy of door-slamming rage.
And prolonged bawling.
There was music to all of it.
I do not know how your saintly soul could have endured such protracted acrimony.
I would think, what a strong woman.
You would like that.
Even now my voice, that of a wretched tramp, speechless as dirt falling.
Now I know the silence.
But I was your son's friend who wrecked bikes.
The kid with a flashlight looking for bass bait--the dandelion up rooter, the nascent botanist with the walking stick collection.
Me of wheelie motor-scooter.
That Sauk vaccine.
Me, the boys and Maybelline.
Yes, yes that was me, sad alto sax.
The BBgun shooter the one with the cherry bombs, oddly home from school--all your guys, my buckaroos.
And you were June Clever surrounded by war ponies and peaked pink peonies with a paper plate of peanut butter and jelly.
Jesus, I want to read
Death has No Dominion.
But now with no penny, I must be original as a child.
You can't walk into a Norman Rockwell painting, and I know you did not really leave.
I do wish for you a high religious ceremony with those songs about flying eagles.
If you don't see me, I will be here.
If I don't make it there, to hear
Death has No Dominion,
I shall diligently squeeze
lime over my gin.
After all, you know it's still Monday.
But I'll find you, so not to be alone.