My hand became my father's hand
for a second or two, as I lifted the fish, and I could feel his loneliness,
my father's, like mine,
a horse in a stall spooked by guttering candles,
the popping and black smoke, the quivering flanks.
And if a horse, in its loneliness, couldn't manage
to speak, what difference did it make?
What could he say? Tell a flickering candle Burn true?
Then I thought of my mother, standing in a field with flames
in her hair. She was surrounded by deer, statues
in a circle around her.