Graduation Party (A poem)

Blink blue sky face at a gathering

Marking the passage of time

My child my daughter

The blue carnation corsage on her slim wrist

Legs long stretched like taffy

When did it happen that I’m standing

In the heat of this day?

Sweat on my upper lip

Sweets on the tray

My wife rattle crash in the kitchen

Squeal of the screen door oil it

Maybe later and she rolls her eyes at me

We’re in on the joke, but it’s taking its toll

Is she really hunchback fatigued

Or has she been magazine-programmed?

Shakes her head at my every line of reasoning

This dish, this seasoning

The leavening of our family bread

And we shall rise

Phoenix from the ashes

College scholarship! Make something of herself!

All so banal

And we crawl, on our knees to the god of supposed-to-come-next

Take the ticket

Dim thoughts on a bright day

The dog races toward me

Tongue lolling and his smell

As I bend to pat him mingles

With that of cut grass from the neighbor’s yard

Where’s my cross to guard me

From the vampire time sucking

Dry the years and my son

Blond ambitionless pulling at his lip

Flicker screen blue sky blank

I wonder what they’re pumping him

Full of not love not nothing double negative

A plot? He puts his phone in his pocket

Catches me staring, shy smile, whatta guy

I ache because he’s the best I’m a sentimental softie

From me of me not me paradox enigma

I worry too much not enough and my wife shakes her head

Again conspiracy lunacy fluency

What’s the frequency?

Blink up at sky, hot sun, moist under my arms

Suffer my mother-in-law’s charms

Lipstick in the cracks of her lips

I see the shadow of my daughter

In her chin and the generations stretch back

Flicker movie screen blink all gone and slack

Moment blip sip the punch, cold and sweet on throat

Sherbet lolling in the pink soda like a pig in mud

As I stir the bowl with the ladle

Joy joy I tell you future oh suture seal this wound

And I saw it all and it was “chasing the wind”

Writes the Ecclesiastical and my daughter

Leans her forehead toward a friend

Laughs prettily her future my future blend never end

I am a stream narrowing to a trickle

No blame, dear one, you wax and I’ll wane

She touches her friend’s arm a glance my way

“Smile, Dad,” she says, pursing lips shaking head

And I do but blinking look away

Flash blip blue sky gone soon never ending

Paradox party streamers hang from the deck

She wanted “something small”

We’ve got this infinitesimal moment under the massive sky

Infinity is a blip stream narrow trickle gone

Crying, “here we are” at this party on the lawn

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