From What My Father Said
Mostly I remember the side-gate.
The busted-wheel and steel-grind sound—
Metal’s rusted speech. The bolt-latch snap
Straightening the spine. The pivot of the shoulder.
Heft of the hip pressing up and in;
And the cold-bone twist in the tongue
Of the hand. You shook when it opened.
When the hinge wheeled and the gate
Swung wide, my dad disappeared
And appeared again wheeling a trash can
Down the drive. The plastic tread-clatter.
The way the lid chattered and stuttered
When tilted back and eased off the curb’s edge.
And then he levered it into place again,
High-palmed his left hand flat,
Forced pressure where the gate and wall met,
Drove his right hand back—and the bolt set.
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Photo by Tony Alter/Flickr