When I leave earth, I will miss you the most.
Always up before me, always upright,
standing above me with preparations for the day
ahead, you are my father multiplied, I knew a three.
Mornings I awake to assume that child.
He ages decades in seconds without prayer.
In school, I learned my life depends on you,
drawn breath by drawn breath. Oh, but I knew it,
the birds had taught me before I could speak
in human tongue and so could sing in theirs,
appearing at the window by my crib
that we warble to each other.
my subject, I have been leaving earth since birth.
Song with me, trees, wind running through your limbs,
when I run out this morning, arms uplifted,
the first day of my life, the best, the last,
a day I lift my slow hello to in my passing.
from his book Divine Margins
Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2009
Used with permission of the poet
Poem for October 14, 2010.