Dreamy as Tarzan, the years murmur
their old tune as we stride away from them
into our spotlit lives. Like fathers, they armor
themselves against loss, hawking phlegm
into coffee cans, scratching their scaly pates,
though a Nehi odor lingers in their cough,
faint as sour cream. Behind their rusty agate
stare slides a slow-rolling map of sloughed-
off days along the river. Scabby grapevines
grip the porch rails, courting light. A peahen
chitters in the weeds, and on the clothesline
the half-yellowed shirts of sweating men
sag like idle hands. The years hum our quavered names.
We clench our fists: panicked, ruthless, dumb, ashamed.
[forthcoming in Same Old Story (CavanKerry Press, 2014)]