Religion by Lindsay Wilson

Watching those super eight movies

of learning to walk, it took only one

 

of my father’s fingers to keep me up.

At seven, I felt, for the first time,

 

the impossible past behind me, and felt it again

on a day trip with him to his hometown,

 

Bodfish, California where no one lived

at the old company town.  The tan houses

 

had faded into the tan hills like old photographs

exposed to sun.  He stood looking

 

further into place than I could,

and because that town was all flint

 

and kindling, his lit eyes drew sparks

and started small fires to his memories

 

dried gullies.  Once, he began,

because that was how he was taught

 

to begin a myth, I buried my turtle

in a cigar box under this tree.  We did not pray,

 

but got down on our knees

digging our hands into the dry earth,

 

hoping for a box with an empty shell inside.

When the earth gave us nothing,

 

my only proof became his face and words,

so I took faith, for the first time, in my father,

 

in the way prayer always remains outside of me

like a father must as he trails off before ending

 

another one of his impossible stories.

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Categories: Issue 2 - Spring 2012, Periodicals, Poetry | Tags: | Leave a comment

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