“A Brief Note from Spencer” by Jon Andersen

Jon Andersen


Hey—I don’t like to write but you wrote so
I guess I got to send something back.
I can really picture the mountains—not my thing,
but it sounds like you got it made: all those trees
and streams and mountain lakes and Margaret
sounds like a gift of nature, too. Listen—
don’t worry but my Dad checked himself into
the VA hospital—guess he was ready to end it
but thought he’d give himself one last chance.
It’s got me shook up cause he’s been mostly proud
and pissed for the 25 years I’ve known him—I mean,
he could be down, but this! We went to see him
and let me tell you that big old power plant
has been decommissioned. He looks smaller
somehow—just sits there crying all the time.
I let Ma talk to him, but I had to go out to the parking lot
for a smoke, and you want to hear something weird?
Remember how his buddies at The Boat gave him
the name “War Hawk”? Well I’m leaning against the truck
puffing away and this red-tail comes swooping down,
screeching and circling and I’m looking it right in the eyes
and then it takes off fighting the wind.
That’s got to be a good sign, right? I swear
I’m not shitting you. Anyways, we’ll see you this winter—
I’m still not drinking, Lisa’s back and says hi,
everyone misses you but I don’t that much.

from Rattle #23, Spring 2005

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