Sunday, January 7, 2007

Poem: Tim J Brennan

vanishing point

in late evenings
from my screen porch
where i summer slept,
i could see father’s
upper floor bed light,
its tiny shards tossing
light shafts into tall
spiraled oak trees,
beams bouncing infinitely
into night black air
often times, i could hear
mother’s asthma breath
soft calling his name; i imagined
her touching his darkness
with powdered hands

from the roundhouse yard
two small town blocks
from third street east, an iron
engine coupled ferociously
with box cars; the metallic wailing,
its dark rails off east off west,
off places i was not allowed to go

as he always did, father left early
morning, disappearing around
our green garage, returning later
with stick matches, tobacco
breath; stories of Nam, house fires,
Richard Nixon, and the one picture
of his father in his back wallet pocket

years later, after mother left me
her books, her Perry Como LP’s,
her Caldwell novels; years
after she buried herself in her yellow
wicker sewing basket, carefully threaded
and locked into her cold, mausoleum niche

i stood before her marble door
as winter tried to explain itself:
white dry god flakes heaped
on stained glass sills, child licked
from small red mittens; nearby
water frozen in a gray metal pail

it has been years
since she has held me,
years since she has practiced living;
the entire scene perspective,
the vanishing point of delivery
from mother’s past,
the converging
lines of my future

~ Tim Brennan is a regular contributer here. He can be reached at his email address.

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