Fighting the Drift


Austin, Texas, USA
Staff Attorney, Mom
I like to write. I like for people to read what I write. I like to read what other people write. I only get to do these things occassionally.


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JUNE 17, 2010 10:06AM

Pigeons are so damned Graceful

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"Pigeons are so damned graceful" spits my Father.
We are sitting in the car at a red light on seventh street,
the corner where the homeless men gather;
soup kitchen on one side, shelter on the other
and police station at the end of the block.
It is the only place I have ever bought weed from a stranger,
this corner, where I paid five bucks for a joint to impress
another 15 year old whose name I can't remember.
I'd planned to boost my Dad's stash, but he was out that week.
It was about then that he told me he'd sworn to my mother
that he'd never smoke me out, but the reverse was wide open . . .
The baby is sleeping in the back, and my Father has forgotten
what he was saying before the pigeons caught his eye,
grey birds swooping in moorish arches over the cop cars
lined up, as always, insectine along the street--
He was talking about Pablum, real wheat Pablum,
wondering if we could get it for the baby,
who is cutting his first tooth.  Dad, Grandad now, wants it premixed. 
Of course.  He tried to find it for me and couldn't;
he thinks its probably gone for a reason, but still . . .
The light changes in its own time, like everything else,
which is good. The baby sleeps better when the car is moving.
The pigeons still on the road alight to the stoplight, and
I think about this moment as a poem, about
men becoming metaphors, the great grey
and shining swirl mushed up in my mouth,
simpled and strained, perhaps even a bit awful
but still, because of the growing, necessary.

Author tags:

open call, family, poetry

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