The boy lived with his father and mother and two little sisters in a small converted gas station
in a small coal mining town.
They were building a house-the boy and his father and the men in town.
The men drank beer and labored every evening
and every weekend.
The house was almost finished.
It was almost Christmas
and the boy knew he would be getting a pump action BB gun that looked just like his father's pump shotgun.
Then he would learn to hunt,
he would learn to be a man.
On Monday morning, Clyde came,
as usual, so they could walk to school together.
The boy answered the door and said, "My daddy died."
died in winter. Nine days before Christmas.
Came home sick from work on Friday, pronounced dead on Sunday.
The boy was only ten.
After that, he hated
only by his hate
of God, who
have fared better,
had he also died that cold December day.
the white began to melt into first signs
and the lawns in town, dappled in dew droplets might have signaled promise
and the sun
declared them sacred,
mother prayed her son would be okay.
Trees reclad with flair, emerald frondescence everywhere,
posies peered, checking progress of moseying slush,
birds cheeped cheerily, confident
the freeze was over.
Spring tried hard that year;
in high spirits and with vigor, strove for reclamation,
but the secrets of last season
revealed themselves in a relentless rain
that commenced mid
Unallayed, it came in torrents,
tearing blush stained apple blossoms from their branches,
dragging buds from soft soil
shushing any hopeful singers,
and winter's fight,
displayed in violent weather,
proof of reason to dismay.
The boy knew he could not avenge his father's death by the killing off
former image of a safe and sweet, if stern,
watching from the sky
by the now evident claws
of a rash and criminal creator and destroyer
who roamed the earth,
took at will
what he would.
The boy heard the roar
of this bitter new truth in
in the fire strips of lightning,
tasted it in three cruel seasons,
so by the time fall arrived,
to mark a passage
rusting the grave he could no longer bring himself to
his heart was hollowed by a boyhood swallowed.
His little sisters
somehow managed to sustain
adding innocent made up details
and he listened, allowed the sentimentality and the fabrication but did not partake
and he exiled
from the comfort.
he made his own sort of peace with the tragedy.
Wading in the width of lack,
with an energy reserved for
With loss as his lot, he let no one near.
And God he banished, though he doubted not
Years ceased to vary.
Decades after, undistinguished,
and any whiff of wistfulness
brushed off like irritant flakes of
He found (too soon)
drank as for deliverance,
lived then for years on the brink of death's cliff,
destruction, theme of the dark Poe like poem of presence.
Being, a casualty in the accident of
grand scheme -
or so he attempted to
ignoring any clue preempting
Betrayed by waning
he wished for death;
received it long before he breathed his last.
Hounded season after season by rhyme without
a mystifying snow found him well before winter in a new year,
fell so tenderly
that even heat of inebriation could not provide escape
her whispered telling.
spoke of his father's love,
said it came grieving in the tears of rain,
and screamed in summer's storms,
and missed him when in Autumn, he withdrew.
He wept at
the warmth he'd
and by spring that year,
he'd buried the bottle.
Time revived in the flowering surprise of grace revealed
and the man answered the door and said, "My Father is alive."
The Sunday Whirl