careens like me through youth, the house’s boards
and bricks both battered and refreshed, the roof
intact but leaking, trees flash green and black—
some shattered. Ghost-dad rattling round in me:
I see his hands in mine, the nails, the hordes
of veins and wrinkles. Ageing is the proof,
the price, of staying upright under crack
of thunder, diving in the furrowed sea.
A horse bites through its bit, a monkey shakes
its cage, the soul outwears its sheath. We know,
we know: it’s blood, of course, but something more
that stresses, stretches us, that damn near breaks
us in our changes. Wind moans, then a blow –
the son I never had bangs on the door.
Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Centre, and edits two literary magazines at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His poems have appeared recently in Dime Show Review, The Drunken Llama, and Sick Lit. Tom’s website: here