Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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We’re walking to the car, crunching snow
across the yard, overburdened, as usual

with backpacks and books and lunches
in bags, when my son says, You

would make a good grave. What? I say.
My gun could do that. You don’t have a gun,

I remind him, as he climbs into his car seat
and waits, smiling, for the familiar zip

and click of the belt. Dad, he says, staring down
the fingergun’s barrel inches from my face,

you’re my best friend. Across the street,
the birch look thinner and whiter in snow.

I turn off the news—but too late, too late—
and drive slowly, so we can watch two crows

tuck and shoot through the tangled branches,
like the two he loves from his favorite

storybook, Odin’s black angels, Hugin and Munin,
thought and memory, sent out across

the world each morning with the hope
that they come back. Today, luckily, I

unbuckle my son’s seat belt, and he kisses
my hand before we cross the street.

Today we hang his coat on the hook
by his name, and he runs

through the open door and into the bright room
of children playing without saying goodbye.  

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