Mudlark No. 40 (2010)

The Delicate Bones

Deep in your ear is the fountain of youth
and the city streets you knew as a boy, when you walked home 
from school with a loaf of fresh Italian bread 
to share with the pigeons. Deep in your ear 
is the smell of the bus exhaust you walked through, crossing 
the street, almost running—you’ve always liked that smell—
and the gray light of the park and its playground, and the smell
of newspapers caught against the waist-high playground wall.
Deep in your ear is that park fountain, dry now,
the huddled men and women on the benches, and your father 
sitting there one afternoon, holding a cup 
of coffee to his beard and mumbling at you.
But he wasn’t your father, not really. Your dad 
was sitting in the kitchen when you got home, in a tee-shirt,
crying. Was he speaking too? Deep in your ear
is the music of those trees standing proudly in their little dirt 
squares, surrounded by blacktop, feeling 
the swirl of life only with their leaves, as their leaves	
are all they can do now. But still they live.

Michael Hettich | Mudlark No. 40 (2010)
Contents | Where I Don’t Live Now