poem index

please advise stop [my father's dying makes stairs of every line of text seeming neither to go up or down stop]

Rusty Morrison

my father's dying makes stairs of every line of text seeming neither to go up or down
that I make the nodding motion to help myself feel I understand stop
in common with his bafflement I find comprehension alone will not suffice stop

that I begin to find other books in other rooms were always the same book stop
affiliation which comes from the Latin ad- plus filius meaning son stop
a correct word would steady more than itself like a banister please

first will I need to write any one of the letters that neither of us wrote to the other stop
one cannot predict but only open the hands that are inherited stop
and watch what they do please advise

From the true keeps calm biding its story by Rusty Morrison. Copyright © 2008 by Rusty Morrioson. Used by permission of Ahsahta Press.

Rusty Morrison

by this poet


the rustle of a Sunday bundle of newspapers tucked under my father's arm stop
and no father walking toward me stop
on the branch only oak leaves reddening as wind ripens their talent for exodus stop

on the lawn a scatter of wrens head-down but tail-erect stop


I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop
it was only from out of my thoughts that I could climb stop
not from the room please

my father's dying offered an indelicate washing of my
perception stop   
the way the centers of some syllables scrub


I might travel his death a creaking and swaying beneath me stop
there are static expressions freed now and passing along the walls stop
an object isn’t what is hidden but what smiles out from the hiding please

with only the slightest effort I might abandon