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Sudden Movements Analysis

Author: poem of Bob Hicok Type: poem Views: 14

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My father's head has become a mystery to him.

We finally have something in common.

When he moves his head his eyes

get big as roses filled

with the commotion of spring.

Not long ago he was a man

who had tomato soup for lunch

and dusted with the earnestness

of a gun fight. Now he's a man

who sits at the table trying to breathe

in tiny bites. When they told him

his spinal column is closing, I thought

of all the branches he's cut

with loppers and piled and burned

in the fall, the pinch of the blades

on the green and vital pulp. Surgeons

can fuse vertebrae, a welders art,

and scrape the ring through which

the soul-wires flow as a dentist

would clean your teeth.

And still it could happen, one turn

of his head toward a hummingbird,

wings keeping that brittle life

afloat, working hard against the fall,

and he might freeze in that pose

of astonishment, a man estranged

from the neck down, who can only share

with his body the silence

he's pawned on his children as love.

Anonymous submission.


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