…so here’s a rough draft of a “long poem”…a request from my son for a day’s writing on the road…

Somewhere In The Middle Of Nowhere In Louisiana I Thought Of You

Sugar cane, white bungalow gone grey

a shack. I turn

the page in the story I read your father

and there you are

perched like a picture in someone else’s book.

Words scrawl sideways across the pale in disarray

as if the poet meant it that way

I’m sure he did

as you.

 

Southern humidity hangs

in green

weighted with summer. I imagine

you and your girl

sliding those silver Rockies down to the bay

pink with sunset

planning your tomorrows

beside that marble mansion. Candy clouds

close the chapter

childhood sinks, you rise

break the surface with your breath

nimble feet pump, kick. Laughing and proud

she comes

swimming like the weeki-wachee mermaids.

Softer than a siren she sings

calls your name in a way

only you can hear from sea-green eyes

only you can read.

 

I read it too

somewhere in the middle of nowhere

passing Abbeville, stopping for bacon at a quick store

photographing the swamp, the cypress knees, the moss

 

and just like that I know for sure you are gone.

 

The book of literary wonders, long forgotten, sits slack in my lap

I watch your father drive

through fields of sugar cane

sweetness on every side. I finger memories

of him at your age

how he turned when I called his name

swam to me

through pink waters beneath the moon.

 

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