On Trees, Fathers.
Words by Will Anderson
We work in woods
My father wipes some same sweat
As we carry saws in the hung dust.
Trees would grow in days if they could.
My father fells, and each tree drops,
As I dance through straw and dirt.
I know he will not hurt
me, he always stops.
But my father he does not talk
Of some dead things,
Loading them to truck.
I know its just a fault.
That as I am,
He is a man.
And if I could regrow myself,
In a single day,
It would be into the same land.
Sipping a Beer with Pop
Words by Chris Ortiz
After pop and I finished the skim coat
on his retirement condo’s ceiling,
we found ourselves post-job shuffled
into the kitchen, his hand holding to me
a bottle of Landshark.
It’s the first time he’s offered me a beer, no timid
Question in the outstretch of his arm,
no little, “ha-ha” indication of a joke
that I expect from Pop. I am a man
now, evidently, and the conversations
of men sting. The pang of his words
was wish, wish that I’d shave my beard,
bring back the cheeks chubbing all soft
along his fingers. Wish that he’d taken
fewer hours at the alarm office, kindled
fires in our New York woods backyard,
cooked hot dogs off the land before retreating
to Florida’s Homeowners Associations, classic
car restoration, suburban speed bumps turning
retirement’s accelerant into an effete, gentle
crash. Disappointment is a sentiment
unbelonging to the conversation about
my father, but I understand that words run flush
to a sure man’s perception. What I also know
is that the truth is said static, but exists in motion,
grandiose 30’s cinema, but wrapped in gesture.
subtle. I remember the afterward of the job,
riding bikes into the youthful night, no crippling
plan to determine the validity of our man-to man.
that beer is no contract breaking our role as father
and son, breaking my need for you as you are.
and if there was a contract, I’d wipe my ass with it;
don’t you dare have me in before sunset.
you gave me the ability to make revelations
on my own, so let me share one with you, Pop.
sometimes, life forgets to deal in the economy
of years, and instead works with memory.
so don’t let that Clearwater sundown be a God
damned metaphor – You know that kind
of thing is my job.