Saturday, June 25, 2016

On One Hard Father

for Roger Weaver

Whenever frozen webs of sidereal dawn reflected white off the cold
winter moon, whenever warm exhalations were gray and socked in,
whenever all that existed between purpose and perpetuity was darkness

upon frost, whenever gloves and hat and thick blue flannel were not enough,
whenever the thermos in his right hand provided ballast against the frigid

slickness that stretched the length of the path connecting the kitchen door
to the lowing along the once red barn, whenever his left hand balled
into a tight round of responsibility and too many mouths to feed, whenever

Big Boy greeted him with 15-hands of mottled muscle and nostril-steam
prior to being led by small talk and habit to the leather bridle worn smooth

by one fulfilled obligation after another, he’d conjure a little extra warmth
from somewhere deep inside before breathing it slowly over Big Boy’s bit –
out of consideration for his horse. My father was good with horses.

First appeared in Kentucky Review - May 2016

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