Four Variations on a Theme
I am holding you in one arm,
can't find anything else to pack.
"Stand still, Daddy" you beg,
the words falling faster than
rain rushing down the gutters, racing
against everything that falls,
my reign in this house included. The
window frames the sullen clouds.
I know what the clock says, and
can't solve what still
stands between me and
the woman you call Mommy.
Rain drums its cold fingers
against the heads of houses. Outside,
my parking meter has expired, the
window filled by a bright red flag.
I set your two years down slowly,
can't hold you any longer.
"Stand there by the windowsill,"
the door groans to you as it closes.
Rain rumbles, flashes a dagger
against the dark sky, you,
my only child, want to run past the
window, to my arms bulging with boxes.
I reach the van, turn a last time,
can't believe how you
stand so still as I close
the door. A fine curtain of
rain falls, refusing restrictions
against its wishes, animates your arms,
my hands. From opposite sides of each
window we wave, faces dripping.