originally published 2010


The man was a truck driver -
like he thought
the wheels could keep him
from rumbling through -
the rock that rolled from
family to frightened family
the dark rimmed glasses
that never shook when he smacked
our cheeks
already turned.


That morning
we just obliged
the southern charm of his surprise
moved our hearts with hope
on Christmas morning.
Where did we think he was going?

He just hung there,
our mistletoe corpse
dangling over the living room floor
leaving behind a mess
for us to clean
with brooms
not long enough
to cross state lines.

So women, wives
we never knew
just shuddered.
Their house was not the chosen one -
it was one of his other lives - this living room
where he chose to die.

The words he always said
as he pulled out of the drive
obscured. Our ears could only hear the horn-
as if we were just
full-size sedans in the passing lane.