The Father-Son Continuum

The Father-Son Continuum

In all that is the father
there is the longing for death in the birth of the son:
a dying man on a frightened horse.

My father on his manstalk
burned like a scarecrow just before the snow falls
when the snow falls in only one field.

When it proved useless, he put his mind for sale.
Though the moon paid in amnesia,
he traded it to the lower dark for a way out.

He built a stairwell with his bare feet,
and with his nailed-together hands he built a clock
the way nothing is built to last.

At the oak tree where he buried his father’s ashes,
his prayer with a rake in his hands
was the pile of dead leaves at his feet.

In all that is the son
there is the longing for life in the death of the father:
a frightened man on a dying horse.

— Ryan Dowling