by Ann LaBar

When I arrive, my father will ask,
“They pay you for that?”

And I will answer no.  Payment
For poetry is rarely legal tender.

It is broken barrettes, non-pareils while
The house burns, calves

In veal pens, and occasionally
Vanity.  And who am I to say

This to a man turning 88
Watching turkey vultures in his yard

As he recalls swimming through
The flood waters of ’42,

Past sewage and the dead to get
Home from the mill.

Categories: Loving, Poetry

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