The spaceman's idylls tell a foetid tale


Dear Dad,
         Remember back in seventh grade
I had to write out sonnets, paradelles,
cinquains -- and I refused? Said no kid had
the time to think about the rules of rhyme
and meter. Math was always fun, and not
to mention baseball games and model planes,
playing quarters, sneaking smokes. But now,
it's time that's all I've got, it's time and ghosts:
a pooka in my head, and ancients dressed
in daddy's clothes. So here's a poem for
you, Dad, and for that "A" I never got
in seventh grade. You think she'll take it late?

Oh, Dad,
        I've got the life I always craved:
a buddy from the wars with whom I drink,
the girl I want to take home to meet you.
Two kids, of course. My Chi's a thief, a slut,
complete with ADD, but still she's loved.
The boy's a stinker (steals his sister's toys).
And then the neighbor boy, the foster son,
beloved and despised. Dear Talyn, wrought
in war, designed for carnage, sacrificed
himself, in starburst gone, to save us all.

See, Dad,
         I see, and don't. A seer in depths
of space. I know what's coming soon for Earth;
I know and cannot stop. From out here in
these wasted lands my friends and I live lives
so full and yet I cannot help the Earth.
The drowned Phoenician Sailor (lost Good Ol'
Boy Astronaut, same diff), that's me, my card.
Oh, these are pearls that were my eyes. We sit
upon the shore, with arid plain behind,
and fish -- just Harvey, me, and Dad.