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
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