Two Poems

Maybe In This Poem 

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I am playing catch with my sons,
throw them a hundred grounders
and a couple dozen high hard ones.
We throw as long and far as we can
arching up into the eye of the sun
in a sky too blue to breathe or
to believe they will ever come down.

My daughter and I are dancing
in the kitchen, the tinny little A.M.
tuned low to some distant
static city fading in and out,
twirling and swaying, dipping
and laughing in the almost dark
this day she wouldn’t have forgotten.


I Have My Father’s

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habitual flinch
at loud noises, bad news
or long unspoken sorrow
a flailing of the arms
as if you’re dreaming
of flying or falling,
his flat peasant hand
born to beg and grub,
usually wrapped around
a stub of a cheap cigar
or a mug of the local,
usually drumming out
on the bar top another
bleary old tune not on
the juke box for years.
I have his stare off
into a future even
further from the man we
used to think we’d earned
the right to be by now.
his delight in the bad joke,
preferably of his own making,
his eye for the skinny women,
bright eyed and likely to leave
after years at any moment.
All that’s left of him is
me now, half-drunk most
of the time, all drunk most
of the rest, sadder, sweeter
than i ever could have imagined.

—Bruce Taylor, Chippewa Falls, WI