I'm Returning Home, Father
by Michael Vizsolyi

I’m sorry to have kept you.
I only left because it’s cold here.

So, I took your axe and chainsaw,
your daisy-rope, your strap-
saddle, a paper-weight to use
as throw weight, your old
blue harness mom sewed back together.
I didn’t break anything,
I promise.

I tell you though,
it felt different. You
weren’t with me as I rose
to the top, but if only
you’d have seen the way
I trimmed its hair for a clean
fall. (It looked just like you,
I swear.)

I descended slow, with care,
and I could almost you see you
there when the real bloodshed began:
a honey-blood flying from the blades
as I forced them
down with a sloping stroke, and up,
and up, and up, until
crack, and fall, and still.

Then, into pieces,
the wood, and I
could see you in the stump.
Yes, it was all
there: the scar, the hard
look and stare, age countable
in dark lines.

Well, I must be leaving soon.
I brought you firewood,
and here are your things.


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