Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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I told my daughter I would pay for the life
of a child she and her husband couldn’t.
I said think of it as a loan, a kind of faith
I once felt before my life brought mistakes.
I knew it was to help me believe in love.
I have always loved this daughter and I have
enough money for food, whiskey, golf, so
why not? Nobody lives forever, we agreed.
Then Lulu arrived, and good days, markets
up, house holding on better than expected,
my wife Dee’s blue, broken eyes beautiful
as the first day I watched them, insurance
for my blood sugar gone crazy, my elbow
needing a new nerve, my neck suffering
what doctors called old-man loss, all of it
a tale of what’s coming soon. I think, So?
Then I see a child alone on a street. I think
Christ, what will happen to love when I go?
In the brutal sun of the golf course I stand
waiting my turn and stare at the limp trees,
as if they know something. Beyond them,
bulldozers, back-hoes, bobcats scrape at
roots where soil stinks in high sun, voices
of men on roofs call out in giddy Spanish
as if celebrating the solemn dance of death.
Soon enough it will be quiet as a cemetery.
I think how they must be making up tales,
as gods do, each hammered laugh some
new view of sand trap, green, ball banged
out of bounds, briars where big snakes lie,
the bad shots, the bets we will curse. Jesus,
as if life’s only this play of words in the air.  

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