HALFWAY DOWN THE BLOCK, YOUR FATHER
Stops. It’s just congestion, he says.
I have congestion, not naming it—
his lungs as gauzy as a party dress—
explaining instead how the medic
at the VA had told him his heart
was as strong as any fullback’s.
We wait while he musters the air for
the next few steps, refusing the car,
with the stubbled pride of an old man
whose frayed shirt collar has been
turned by his dead wife, and, having
no third side, cannot be turned again
—from Rattle #25, Summer 2006
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