October 11, 2011—
The heart hangs like a thick branch of a cypress tree
over a wake in the narrow Mobile River.
Looking at the water and the sky
like the space between now and then.
Did you see the turkey vulture?
Flying over the side of the freedom highway. Look!
Maybe you were sleeping to a Mavis Staples lullaby
as I drove off into another day.
My father always said to stay cool.
He has the warmest of souls
He now sleeps and rests a trembling arm
And unforgiving legs that showed me the way.
Decency is the tributary into a sea of understanding.
He taught me that when I was young.
The Gulf breeze hits and I remember that kindness
As golden leaves fall