Saturday, January 15, 2011


He was easy to find

hanging in his plaid

pj's from a beam in the

livingroom. She'd come to ask him

to make her scrambled eggs. Daddy?

Not horror but a six-year-old’s

solemn wail.

By then she could read

the thin colored veins

of any map--he'd hovered with her

over his bright desk

every night after supper.

He taught her routes and roads,

the endless ways

to all fifty states.

She often remembers

the peculiar loose angle

of his neck,

his face dangling grey

as a burntout bulb---

and the clumsy chair

she climbed to touch

the stubble-line

of his drool-wet jaw.

But mostly she remembers

her father's sure finger

tracing the way

to the edge of the Arctic,

whiskeydeep voice telling

of cold beyond cold,

whisker-close to her face:

In Alaska there are whole nights

of daylight! Honey, can you believe

there's a place you can go

where the night is light as day?

Maybe someday we'll fly there and see.


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