Since sunrise I've thought of little else
than lying here, under eaves of nesting
swallows in old Burley's barn, above
the welter of the day. Fed the pigs;
butter's churned, wash half-hung,
all before Sunday service and long way
back, just to steal a few moments
of secret stillness, before he beats us
home, chap-cheeked from the fields.
Your voice is warmer when you read;
the words spool out like gold thread.
He thought he could keep learning
corked in some bottle on an impossible-
to-reach shelf, but we hoarded these
stories. You unlocked their mysteries,
like divining strange bird tracks.
He'll never know the closeness
we sneak in this hay-drifting heaven.
Tonight, after he sinks into a dream
of sons we will never have, I will ease
out of bed, tiptoe to your room,
reach between rope pegs and ticking
to pull out our precious cache. By a dying
fire I will bury my face in the wings
of the pages, inhale the ink,
the sweet scent of hay and horses,
and dream my own dream.
A graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection—The Irresistible In-Between—was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013. His poetry has appeared in The Café Review, Chiron Review, Down East, Innisfree, Lascaux Review, Moon City Review, Naugatuck River Review, New Millenium Writings and Passager, among others. He received the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award, Maine Literary awards in 2012 and 2016, The Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is currently enjoying life's latest delight—grandfatherhood!
The Ekphrastic Review
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