C. D. Wright





Blazes

A man came home with my brothers.
He had on a hunting vest,
a bird losing blood and feather from the pouch.

I thought of a burning bush.

It was raining again,
someone driving nails in a board.

I brushed the folds out of the tablecloth.
The visitor stood in the steam
lifting off the table.
He wiped his hands on my apron.

The voice of my father came on
gentle as a lamp 
a page being turned in its light.

They pushed their plate away, took their chair to the front room,
and lit up. I went to mine.
It was a school night. I held my pillow to my chest 
and said Kiss me Frankie.

I was old enough 
To know love is blind as the old woman
Pulled down the hall by her dog.

Their guns leaned against the wall
but men in those days kept themselves armed
in the dark and rain.
It never stopped.
Everyone who could handle an oar
headed for hell in a boat.

I thought of a burning bush.