Pictures That Were Songs


My father and I lie down together.
He is dead.

We look up at the stars, the steady sound
Of the wind turning the night like a ceiling fan.
This is our home.

I remember the work in him
Like bitterness in persimmons before a frost.
And I imagine the way he had fear,
The ground turning dark in the rain.

Now he gets up.

And I dream he looks down in my eyes
And watches me die.

Frank Stanford (1948-1978; from What About This: The Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, Copper Canyon Press/Third Man Books, 2015)

The Shivers