by John Sokol

everything in the basement;
trails followed my father
throughout the house. It clung
to his clothes, lived in his hair ,
fell into his food like salt.
I'd sift through it when I rifled
his pockets for nickels and dimes.
In winter -- whenever
I opened the garage door --
I'd watch it swirl and funnel
tiny tornadoes.
It drifted against the walls,
curled under the dusty steps and
blanketed the tools
that were its maker.
Traces were imbedded
in the varnished handle
of the pirate's sword
I waved in a school play.
I'd smell it when I got home from practice,
and on Sunday mornings,
laced through the aroma
of bacon and eggs.
And when the merry-go-round
in our back yard
finally fell apart, it
poured out of the horses
like freeze-dried blood.

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