We brothers emerge from swampland,
eyeless fish with toes,
tossing our heads,
reading the idea of light.
Near Sevierville we evolve,
the markings of lost Scottish tribes
giving way to the local diner,
ruler of our hearts and tongues,
home of the Big Dinner.
We sit among pungent men who slurp coffee,
not knowing one day we too will slurp,
walking forks over our biscuits, calling:
We are angels!
We are archangels!
In the sun’s descent
we can see the shadows of the trees
spill over town from the back of the station wagon.
We watch in retrograde our beginnings.
This fence took me near a lifetime.
All I ever done is work.
Hustling is what my son calls it.
It takes time, though.
Like love or salvation.
Mother will carry me to the basement
when the birds quit.
Concussions keep me half-awake.
The flashes outside the window
make ghosts of the curtains.
Violence in the light and sound.
Punishment that feels like a birth.
In 1973 a thigh bone,
dark and tumorous,
was found in sand
older than Christ.
You sit in your rocker
watching last birds in the gloam.
You won’t always need legs to stand.
~return to poetry home