"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Lost Son


He was a  footnote in the stories, mentioned 

as if such things were as common for the times,

as moonshine, fighting, or chewing tobacco.

His laugh was remembered, "His little laugh."
otherwise, a space in family portraits,
a pause in my grandfather’s speech,

“Got my two girls and, well, … I had a boy...”
I heard it as a flat and bloodless story,
sepia toned and reconciled by distance,

until  years later, Grandfather gone,
 my Mother talked history over photos,

her parents, how their marriage splintered,

and everything changed.  His drinking,
swept through everything, a river 

the dam had let go. “After Timmy?”

I asked, finally piecing together,
the sweetly broken way he passed his life,
and the pause, that never lost its place.


                                                  -Brent Allard

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our Story


I wasn’t asked either. It was passed down;

my father’s story, which I’ve not deciphered.

He used to take me for drives in the car.

I haven’t solved the questions he left

though every one has changed. Some

are so polished they feel like answers.

Blood is still the greatest mystery.

We create from our own crumbling ruins.

When I couldn’t sleep, he’d sing.

You have me, there in your veins.

So what am I telling you, knowing

you’ll see through platitudes?

You have your own questions,

and you'll construct the memories that stick.

What you need, you’ll look for until you find it.

I was 2 years old in his brown pick up truck,

radio playing Hank Williams. When I couldn’t sleep,

he sang along. I shut my eyes. He drove us home.

                                           -Brent Allard