In the kitchen, I remember my mother
handing a glass of Scotch to my dad
wearing his favorite green plaid shirt
the color of trees—our dog Blackjack
and his broken look after being scolded
for scarfing down a lump of eggs, I gave
him as he waited routinely under the table—
where beneath a world of loss rested
on the hollow of a hardwood floor. How
that floor came to echo voices of the dead
and the clang of hanging bells every time
another passed. My father reading names
in the obituary, the sharp edging of metal
that scraped my knees as my weight shifted
from one side to the other—the dawn’s light
an amber river that streamed in from the half
opened window in the empty space of morning

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