Coming Through the Rye

by Brad McDuffie


On South Ohioville
The light is almost gone from September
And beyond the white pines the horizon
Blues down upon the gold over Shawangunk.
I’m in the Adirondack chair listening to Sterling
Rally the Yankees in the ninth.
After story time, Rachel lies in bed
With Jonah and Micah curled into her arms
Fighting for position, trying to get closer.
Anna lies across the foot of the bed
Assured of love beyond touch. At the funeral
Her eyes measure the family’s grief
Knowing enough to know death’s hollow.
Rachel sings hymns with them, In the Garden
Let the Lower Lights Be Burning
As I make my last pass through the house,
Locking the doors and opening the windows.
Only Jonah is awake when I get to the back room.
His eyes are lost in the day, the iris’ sky
Blue with the endlessly passing clouds.
He asks, Daddy, how old are you?
When I look at him, his eyes are beyond me.
I touch my fingers to his brow, tell him I’m thirty-three.
He closes his eyes. In dreams
I see myself standing over my grave, weeping.


Brad McDuffie's picture

Brad McDuffie is a poet from New Paltz, NY. He has published a book of poems entitled "And The West Was Not So Far Away, " and a chapbook, "Seven Hymns From the West." He currently teaches at Nyack College in Nyack, NY.

Last updated August 19, 2011