Image: Lone Tree in Fairy Lake, by Jean Beaufort
He accepts the coffee and smiles
his best I’m more than I seem smile
at ‘You’re Being Served By Eve’
who stares right past him, or maybe
right through him, at the queue
percolating out the door.
He’s loved her each lunch break,
in a year full of lunch breaks,
from his nobody place in line–
one more grey suit
in a nondescript forest
where he knows should he fall,
he will not make a sound.
Trapped beneath the fallen gum
in whose branches I’d learned to climb,
I marveled how its limbs still clung
to shattered treehouse bones.
That night when father stumbled home,
he found me deep in mother’s fold;
blood and tears run dry.
Adrift in dreams on Thunder Road,
I missed the words but heard the tone.
As Springsteen traded wings for wheels,
a second giant fell. In the space of a song
my father was gone; mother and I were left alone
to ponder how a tree seemed strong
while rotting at the core.