My father pulled up in his cab, its black
sun visor downturned, proclaiming
NOT FOR HIRE
then shivered up the gleaming walk
my quiet eyes watching
through gauze curtains.
I lost him at the front porch
behind the stone right angle
behind the half-drawn shade;
the storm door clicked and creaked
before his meager knock, and after
hissed behind our backs.
I climbed across the front seat;
he slid behind the wheel and slumped
and clutched his keys, gazed
longingly into the middle distance as if
something on the other side of Cortland
just past the viaduct, made sense.
I gazed at the meter’s metal flag
perched upright on it’s hinge like a hatchet
waiting to be buried.
R. D. Ronstad