In my Father’s Absence – by Paul Fisher
Men make women messy,
my mother loved to vent
while supervising pickups
of plastic soldiers from my room.
But I was six, too young to count
the dead, too full of spunk to quake
before the high-pitched chorus
echoing each a cappella rant.
Perhaps the better half of God
once raised her voice
while ordering untidy worlds,
rewinding wind and whirlpools,
boxing ears and grounding boats.
I see her on the seventh evening
watching leaves and snow
descend in whorls like cereal and sugar
her ragamuffin children stir and spill
among the twigs and burls,
the wooden blocks and battle gear
she reads like bones,
then sweeps from forest floors.
originally published in Nimrod International Journal