Father Hunting #5



With the years drifting

like the child sifting the sands

beneath the monkey bars for change

I remember someone

I would not recognize in passing


there would be the photo propped on a mantle


of a home I never had time to live in,

the announcement of the birth of a son

tucked in the pocket of my dusty uniform

like a badge of honor

from some misbegotten campaign of love.


time pretends forgetfulness and carries with it

the feeling of being loved

without ever having done my time.


why is it so difficult

to bring to an end

the well of it

when dry


something in the male of this

that suffers

the new start,

the beginning of the end.


having hunted

in all the unfilled spaces of a lifetime

as one of the scavenger gulls

circling the rough edges of Toronto

beyond Nathan Phillips Square,

I closed in on my prey


I could hear my self, gull scream

in a voice the sound of waves retreating into sea


I ran my hand over the smooth skin

of Henry Moores’ Archer and felt

the delicate blows of the hammer

a bag lady sat on a cold concrete bench

cursing boys, empty old weathered sailors

with leathered eyes, wearing their losses on their hearts

like medals from their forgotten wars

shuttled around her.

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