Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2022  Vol. 21  No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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My Husband’s Father

has been walking away from the war
for forty years, making a path through
the mountains to find an open air.
Up there, the firs resemble nothing
but themselves. There’s no destruction
but the brush bent underneath his boot.
No one calls out except the hawk.
It’s hard with his unaccustomed hands
to grasp at feelings, hold sadness
like a rough, misshapen cup.
He’s taking a course in miracles.
He’s trying to believe shadows are not
a bruise across the face of night.
For the past few months, his heart keeps
stopping, and he drops into the dirt.
At such altitude, memory is distant,
a country he visits in the thin breath
before waking to a stranger’s voice
and the spongy touch of moss,
green needles sharp against his skin.  

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