Trigger Warning

While other fathers rowed canoes, mine was the current
     and the light on the water,
          the scent of moving seaward.
He drifted into conversations, the sibilant hiss
     of a gas stove with the pilots blown out
          and the burners turned all the way up.
An unseen motor catches and churns in a sealed garage.
Empty prescription bottles clatter in a desk drawer.
Call it a vocation.
His heart had the last word. Cleave.
A clench and then release.
Father of grass and air.

Laura Esckelson's writing has appeared most recently in Pea River Journal.