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.