for my father

The still O of the tire swing we helped Dad lift
up onto the high limb of the backyard oak
stays with me by way of a distant photo-
memory (calm constancy pendentive gift)

It remained with us beneath that neighborhood
suspense local scenes (where the two roads met
twin Mirror Lakes) the plays for children (Kiss me,
) the chancy dramas panoramic masquerades

village parades mounted for seasonal visits
of the moon Oedipus the steady B-flat drone, a
foliate prairie time (mosquitoes, mostly) alone
with lonesome, ripening Roman nights

Ah all that labyrinth of lost desire (it seemed
infinite pain heartrending fear) in the garden
of drawn-out Mendelssohn delights farm women
shouting "hay!" vast raspberry fields (Eden

or Hopkins) such homespun icons branding
a speechless amplitude (ungraspable) my lips
cannot contain & thus the curious (quercus)
quatrains stretch my longbow toward a fingered

vortex of vanishing flint & just so Black Arrow
traces a curved margin beyond these eyes'
horizon line the ravens' angle from an oak-tree
bough only a father's meekness bending low

whose power of the zero marks the fingerprint of
Everyman Yahweh bull's-eye seraphim signal-
frame (pared wings fletched for downward
flight) that tired swing hangs plumb

6.15.08 (Father's Day)

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