local_library Generations

by Robert Dowd

Published in Issue No. 210 ~ November, 2014

There is so much God in the night

It became a desert.

In the attic office

Under a frail forty-five watts

My father reviewed

The parish tuition bills.

Three mornings a week he kept Mass

Where his prayers walked like men

Who worked their lives in warehouses.

He had to rub hard salves into their backs.


Later he saw inside of psalms

Like fingertips ripping

Into ripe peaches

And he licked them clean

Looking out his kitchen window

At night.


So: my brother built

Cities of nanometers

Where his two boys would learn to crave

The gritty touch of old pages

From heavy tomes,

And my sister sang and her voice

Was light-starved ivy scaling the sides

Of a steel-weary skyscraper

Left alone for one hundred years.


So: on the day I was born

Night was sliced in two

And abandoned in the blank canyons

Of my hands.

Tomorrow I will cup my palms

And wander away, so very far away…




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Robert Dowd works and lives in St. Louis.