When he drinks

Terri Ford

I am left on shore when the barge
shoves off. I am the man in iron shoes, tamping
down wet concrete. I am a dog

in the pound, I am orchards oppressed
by rain, bird feathers, blood,

refrigeration, oar
lock, ice. When he tries

to be absent, I m like Whitman fallen
in his locked bedroom, unable to move
or to call out. I don't stand

for anything, back to the locked
sodden room of the kid

that I was once, whirring,
passed over,

Copyright ©1998 Terri Ford. All rights reserved.

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