You stand
at the backdoor reading
What Work Is

and want nothing
but rain
and solitude

and the scarlet
flowers falling
like flamed daggers

from the tulip trees,
when your son
comes running naked

in his striped socks
and starts to shake
his skinny ass

toward sky
and yell what sounds
like fuck

over and over fuck
which means duck,
a flock of them,

weaving trees
in fluid formation
and clanging

a sound so terrible
you think of Wagner,
the worst music

ever invented,
lifting from
the blown speakers

of your daddy’s Buick,
while he weeps
and laughs and bangs

his head against
the glass
until the grieving,

the voice of his brother,
fades inside
the fractured light

and leans into the river,
where you’ll float one
day in a funeral suit and

wait for rain to crack
the clouds
and consume your face.

So holy, a moment,
your son has stopped
to study the fear that

floods your eyes
and drapes
his hand in yours.

Says daddy come
dance for the ducks

and you do:

one step
two step
three step

Four step
five step


Photo by m.shattock, used and adapted under CC.