Father on Glass Wings

by Willis Barnstone

Death calls from Colorado spring. The phone
tells me you jumped: angel with dizzy stone
arms, floating on glass wings. But you don’t land.
Childhood. We’re selling watch straps, store to store,
sharing a shabby Greystone room. The floor
is spread with schoolbooks. As you take my hand
we ride downstairs for papers: SNEAK JAP PLANES
SMASH PEARL HARBOR!! I’ve got Latin to do
but we walk Broadway. Dropping through spring-blue
sweet air (I was in Brunswick’s tedious rains),
you shattered in the gutter. You’d be gray
by now, I guess, and coming up the stairs
is my young son I love the same old way.
He can’t see you. I won’t know his gray hairs.

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