As Much to Speak of Weather
I do not write of my father because he loved me, a truth I have come to believe in for its obviousness—no less obvious that is to say than the way one speaks of rain, its beauty and betrayal. Today’s rain is preemptory, a windless gravitas: what a speaker of political mindset might refer to as bi-partisan, claiming a democracy of garden and glass. How parental! (How paradoxical, both bound and torn asunder!) To speak of my father’s love, then, is as much to speak of weather as if weather is all there is to speak of. My father—who has since taken his words to the grave—has nonetheless left me with rain, another season’s first chill of rain.
Words Frequently Confused: Historicism, Histrionics
If you don’t know the width of the forest when you enter it, how will you know when you’re on the way out? Or do you mean to settle there, to burrow under the dry root of a defeated tree and stay, an abundance of honeybees and berries nearby, a small clear stream? Haven’t you notified the children already, sold every earthly possession, signed up online for Your Majesty’s benefit? Come on, Columbus, isn’t that the way of forests? Aren’t you lost before you know it? Aren’t you penalized half the distance to the goal?
Phillip Sterling’s books include two poetry collections, And Then Snow and Mutual Shores, two collections of short fiction, In Which Brief Stories Are Told and Amateur Husbandry, and four chapbook-length series of poems (Significant Others, Abeyance, Quatrains, and And For All This: Poems from Isle Royale). A fifth series, Short on Days, will be released in 2020.
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