Harvey

on the door of the high school my daughters do not attend the poster has been affixed Harvey…Jimmy Stewart-6-foot-rabbit-Harvey

Not hurricane Harvey

Not Hollywood crap Harvey

Flooding of one kind or another 

Reminds-me-of-all-our-befores-and-afters-Harvey

All the quiet people who always knew but not only said nothing but also, let’s face it-

Went along.

Going along will make a girl get mighty quiet

Or something.

Something close to a literal hell.

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One Thing

The lady in the picture is a fraction of her whole-a bit of glasses, hair like mine.  Did she shape the assignment or was it the Wizard of Oz for freshman comp?  I don’t know, but as with so many words shaped into injunctions it sticks in my craw–pick the one thing?  Not a good thing?  Not one among brothers? I suspect literary ambush, which then feels like literary paranoia, but I kick around/go into the weeds with this one thing-

You.  You are the one thing.  The voice in my head steadying my coward’s heart. My man, Jesus I tell Madeline about that universal division of time into before and after You.

Like if you believed in evolution it would be 50 billion, million zillion years BCE, and those sylphish, wispy 2000 after.

After you.

Let me just

Tag along after you

Big brother

Strong tower

Never-leave-me God

Calvarium 10

I once read about a woman who believed she could dissipate 

…the clouds with her mind

but after much thought I have decided I do not want them to go

I see all their stories

As though God Himself were

Finger painting sand art

Casually insinuating angel wings here or the mirror reflection of the map of China in fluffy white

Clouds like babies come and go

Maybe they too grow up 

Go to college, stop needing us anymore as we gaze up at them snow-globed in blue sky beneath inky infinite wonder, fields of burning stars, 

Called all by name.

Calvarium 7

After the helicopter crash I strove to get to him in time but not hard enough.  Our progress was halted for hours on the bayou highway between Lake Charles and Baton Rouge by a jack-knifed produce truck.  Seemingly no injuries besides the greens while in Alabama my father lay prone in the ICU, bandaged skull, sometimes blood seeping from the gauze dressing.

I never saw him like this.  By the time we got there he had moved on to the next thing, loosing the coils of mortality and shaking off any talk of rehabilitation.  

The undertaker told us that if we wanted to see him again in any respectable fashion (my words, not his) a hat would be required.  So we spent most of a day darting in and out of haberdasheries looking for cowboy hats.  He was a cowboy: he deserved a cowboy hat.

But the trick was size-the lingering signs of his fatal fall meant his head was swollen, maybe even still haloed in gauze?  It had to be a proper 10 gallon, XL…I had begun to think I would fail him in this final quixotic endeavor when we found an eclectic store that had beach t’s, jeans, souvenirs, and…cowboy hats.  

It was cream colored, the largest size.  They cut it in half so that it appeared to recede effortlessly nto the pillow.

Covering everything.