Each bed with a child in it, or his wife,
his brain lined with sleeping bees,
my father is having to leave the house
with delicacy, easing the dead bolt open
in the dark. The house exhales him.
I'm thinking of a driving lay-up, of a girl
in homeroom, blue necklace, brown skin.
Transistor radio on my pillow, volume low.
I know some things, not enough. My eyes
are closed, I'm listening hard, that song
again, Knock down the old gray wall,
my father standing beside his car—gone,
key in his hand, snowflakes in his hair.
At dawn, an Indian head test pattern will stare
from the TV, the freezer will churn out
its automatic ice. On the windowsill
an iris in a vase will have taken
the last water into its cut stem. I will
notice it, how it is there, and had
stood there the whole time, that flower.