The Georgia Review2002My father's head has become a mystery to him.
We finally have something in common.
When he moves his head his eyesget big as roses filledwith the commotion of spring.Not long ago he was a manwho had tomato soup for lunchand dusted with the earnestnessof a gun fight. Now he's a manwho sits at the table trying to breathein tiny bites. When they told himhis spinal column is closing, I thoughtof all the branches he's cutwith loppers and piled and burnedin the fall, the pinch of the bladeson the green and vital pulp. Surgeonscan fuse vertebrae, a welders art,and scrape the ring through whichthe soul-wires flow as a dentistwould clean your teeth.And still it could happen, one turnof his head toward a hummingbird,wings keeping that brittle lifeafloat, working hard against the fall,and he might freeze in that poseof astonishment, a man estrangedfrom the neck down, who can only sharewith his body the silencehe's pawned on his children as love.Anonymous submission.
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