Downhill on a cool morning
With a fresh cut load
Of logs for the mill
The brakes went out
On the old truck
With its nonredundant lines.
No stopping it my father
Double clutched and geared down,
Steered across a road ditch
Deep enough to bounce us
High above the seat,
While I in childish innocence believed
He knew what to do,
And he did, as well as anyone could
Under the circumstances.
The chains and come-a-longs
And standards held, tires didn't
Burst, and we made our way
Slowly to the mill yard, unloaded
On the ground and spent the afternoon
Soldering that breached brake line,
Refilling it with fluid and bleeding it.
She's kept so many keys, cut long
Ago to doors and boxes, locks
On gates and diaries, on wrong
Or bad directions, wind-up clocks
Long stopped and not remembered well,
That maybe should be thrown away,
Though skeletons will sometimes sell
In sidewalk sales on judgement day.
Increasingly, the future's picked
From options found along the road--
Reaffirmation, habits kicked,
A heart that bears a heavy load.
Kind words prove yet her greatest spell,
Her keys cast in the wishing well.
I once knew a girl from Kentucky,
Whose husband would not let her f**k me.
He landed in jail,
And could not make bail.
Now all of my friends call me lucky.
The rain this morning falling strange,
Unheard for weeks while grasses browned,
At first unrecognized then changed
To gratitude that heaven frowned
And cried again on broken land,
Healed cracks and succoured trees and vines.
Would that were true of everyman
And woman born in these hard times,
Observant where the seed will drop,
Terrain that takes good faith to sow,
That generations may not stop,
That rain will come and ice will hold
Our struggling sons and daughters,
Who cleanse the heavens with their tears.
Fall mornings, he believes, will show
The way back, stretched from afternoon
Above midday, an hour now
And then another, three more soon,
Arrested from the night and laid
Upon his plate with nothing more
Than coffee, toast and marmalade.
Resisting what he used to score.
The afternoon could use a source,
Some meditative carousel
To mitigate the old remorse
Of what has not worked out too well,
And what will come, familiar fright,
His long acquaintance with the night.
All colors and their absence mourn--
White page, black pen design the mind.
Bare bodies blow Gabe's copper horn.
They leave a twisted trail behind.
What's left unwrit is lionspeak,
Transcripted worse than poetry
Encaged in shops that smell and creak
From correlated symmetry.
Unbending letters, cold steel rails
Truss up irrelevant decrees,
But broken grammar jams and flails
From supplicants on what were knees
Aa ee ii o u
Come hear what's lost, spit out in blue.