Sydney Lea

 Poet Laureate of Vermont (2011-2015)


The thread of drool from his lip to my shirt

shows lovely, prismatic, refracting the beams

of this fine warm April sun as I loll on a couch.

Those colors won’t blend with the song

from the Classic Country station I just tuned in.

Hank Williams is lonely, and it damn near kills him.

There’s a dog asleep too, in a circle of light

on the rug, near a pair of rattles, a teething ring,

and a bear that his great grandmother

fabricated years back for this sweet little sleeping child’s father.

Oh I could get going on how that father,

our son, has become such a huge good man

when only yesterday, as the cliché has it,

I held him just this way.

Oh I could get going all right about the absence

of the big-hearted woman who made the bear,

which has twice the bulk of this boy in my arms.

I could fret for the thousandth time that maybe I’ve failed

as man or parent or husband,

but no, I won’t be going that way, or those.

Hank’s midnight train is whining low

While here I hear only a lyrical breathing

and the odd and oddly tuneful infant gurgle.

The scent of the grandson’s crown

wafts up. That’s when all preachments waft up too,

all vanities, worries, to die their sudden deaths.

© 2016 Sydney Lea

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