Six Feet Up
I sold your car hoist today, watched it
trundle out of here strapped to a hay-wagon,
silhouette of its four corner posts jutting up
into the late afternoon haze like rib-bones.
Come winter, the new owner's Model A
will be warm and dry and six feet up
in a Quonset hut. I still see you
working the levers, ever on guard
for glitches. You should've lived longer.
You logged a lot of miles
in the early days, installing
TV transmitter towers from Inuvik to
Antigonish, left with little time
to help raise a couple of sons who turned out
less like you than maybe you'd hoped.
I've chosen words, arranging the gizmos
of every de facto tear-down and rebuild
in my head. And yet, words, too,
don't always mesh, like the stripped teeth
of gears. I approach the real you, as though
laying down paving stones, page by page.
From 'The Better Part of Some Time', (Wet Ink Books, 2022).
Originally Published in Event: Poetry and Prose, (Vol. 50.3), (Feb., 2022).