|What is Written (M.A Reilly, 2009)|
The war is or isn’t over, but coffee still brews,
sugar keeps vanishing, he’s burned his uniform
and never wears boots, his daughters
break mirrors on him to save their mother
when he returns waking neighbors,
waking his grandson. Hammock is wet,
so are his pants, the parakeet,
a wind-up clock, his daughters in nightgowns,
his grandson in their arms,
his black boots don’t make towns flee anymore—
Don has always been the wrong word. Not Don:
redacted addresses, .38s, clips in back-pockets.
To see how many he’ll kill, his grandson
throws rocks at tadpoles. One by one
his daughters leave. Don has always been
what his wife didn’t know how to wash
from uniforms. His grandson is asked
to fetch vodka when Don tries to forget
the still-opened eyes. Not even that wakes him.
No one can wake him. No one can cover mirrors in time.
No one can find the scorpion in their shoes.