I walk with the dreams of the child I was,

who walks with his father, handsome and hurried.

My mother is young as the first wish of love.

The ember of youth is a crumbling fury.

The fire is siphoned away by the wind;

the last wave of heat resolves into night.

A man is a paper sack full of sins:

greasy with donuts and earthly delights;

dissolving with coffee and factory work.

Calloused in hand and calloused in vision,

dim-eyed, dim-witted, the ember gone dark,

he kicks the gray ash for black coals to shun.

A man at the camp pyre, boy laid to rest,

donuts to dollars to donuts to dust.


originally published in Fjords Review