Two Poems

Sonnet For the Man Lingering in the Fields

One evening in the open & symmetrical fields
I watched a man driving the backhoe back
toward the shed on the cemetery’s far side. After his wheels
disappeared, I stood among the dead—which, by that,
I mean no one—& saw how they extended long as light. 
When I used to go to church, I refused to sing, scared of the sound
of my voice in a room nearly too big for god. That almost-night
I feared the headstone growing blank as it ages. The plot’s mound
was still fresh. The horses, trembling & made
orange by light, were led to bed down in hay. When empty,
the cemetery welcomed god to sleep between the graves—
tired, thirsty, caught in the long distance of the sun. I believe
I miss the hard work of doubt. Each day in the field of loss I 
wanted nothing more than comfort, & finding none, I tried 
                                                 to sing.

Sonnet For My Father Gazing at the World After His Mother Died

If I said anything, he’d stop, so I just let him be. 
Tell me, I wanted to ask, how 
to be parentless & alone & secretly 
in love with water. There’s a now

we each live in 
that sometimes feels more like never
than enough. If my father believes in ascension,
then out there, beyond the lake, his mother lives forever.

In the lake, too. In the wind to comb my father’s hair.
In the tree that wills each holy & parentless
limb to cast a shadow in the morning sun’s light. Out there,
I hope, all we’ve ever missed

becomes all we ever are. I love. I’ve loved. I will love to keep my 
                                                          father alive.
When he turned slow to me, he blamed the wind for all his crying. 

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