I used to live in a sandstone house
wrapped in flowers. They weren’t
tall like Neruda’s in his city next
to the sea. My flowers quickstepped
like the town I walked the dog
through—little magentas, roses,
singsong rehearsals of sing-along
yellows & winking whites when
the right breeze kicked up. Out
in the yard, neighborly blossoms
falsettoed to the canopy each & every
spring. Suburb of aromatic layers,
trimmed hedges pollenating the windows
while my little girl gospeled down
the long stair of revelry. Glory be.
Her harmony bent me like a stark
song in the back talk. Euphonium
along the length of yawning houses,
those For Sale signs & empty
windows with timed lights. Every
thing sang its entropy. Almost
everybody grew eventually. Not by
revolution but realization: nostalgia
made mnemonic. What else can
I do after leaving that house other
than become part of the chorus?
Glory be my aberrant attendance,
still trying to itemize the litany
of sunstruck days the way
Sisyphus did, hauling his bundled
shipwreck up to the recycler
for a few copper coins & a smoke.
Glory be my busted, fatherly heart.
From Somebody Else Sold The World by Adrian Matejka. Copyright © 2021 by Adrian Matejka. Published by arrangement with Penguin Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.