to have recognized my Captain, my Conductor!
to have passed over and settled
tenderly on the familiar
my father could have been a war hero,
one of the glorious dead chiseled in stone!
had I ended the hunt when the train left,
I might never have been that close – to nothing.
like a small and fragile gull
perched on a stone shoulder
nibbling found scraps of myself
I would dream, and I would forget
the voices of regret would drown
in the squabble of fat white gulls
feeding on the carrion of what might have been.
old rags and brittle bone
had been where I had been
and covered his tracks well.
my father let his bones die!
he let his legs ground to sand!
I had been denied
the final moments of the hunt.
I wantedre-runs of Bogart!
I wanted a firm hand! a clean kill!
Father’s head on a serving tray
and a goat for my guilt.