Psalm for My Father


Let the russet chair
with its upholstered curves
remain for a while as he shaped it,
removed to a spot by windows
laced over and tall.

Let the coming winter stay longer
on mountaintops: October,
the month of his birth, crisp slowly
into frost, stubble fields holding onto gold
before the turn to fallow.

Allow us time to watch a lowering sun
shoot back prisms,
faint ice etching long needles
across the water trough, mountain spring water
still trickling in as it has all my years,
though irrigation ditches he cut in pasture
no longer flow.

In the necessary wait for morning
and motion, let us open
to what darkness can give . . .
the moving metaphors of earth,
its core of heat, the underground rivers
that stream beneath us.


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