so it came to me to carry the abandoned mattress to the attic a month dead my father waited hillside in the field surrounding his house I was glad to see him to remember when the fathers seemed generic related a class of things as uniform as trees are when you don’t know their names a stand of them across the field I want to say autumn aspens the late fathers blonde as early evening wind startles their eyes and makes of your name a sail a boat above roots that rise to stem that rise to leaf his door and cornices his felt hat and mattress empty it feels like forever above the flickering field the fathers shrinking far beneath our feet
for Lisa Fishman
"I don't usually remember my dreams. But after a poet-friend wrote to tell me of her father's death, my own dead father appeared to me in a strangely sweet tableau. I don't know if an elegy can properly be a gesture of friendship, but in the same way her news triggered my father's brief return, the poem responds to the gift of her poems with a gift of poetry."