top of page

Every Day, I Think of Those Years


when you, your mother and I

lived on a dead-end street

in the Lehmkaut, around the corner

from the playground

where I’d swing you at dusk,

next to the Wingert’s gnarl of apple

and cherry trees and blackberry

thickets, not far from the Stadtwald

with its green-black firs, beeches

and ferns, those caverns of shadow

I’d often walk—alone, dank-footed.


Now that you’re gone, I seldom speak

of that time, can’t bear to look

at our old pictures. But it’s not

that the lilt and whish of Hessisch

no longer feather my speech,

not that I’ve quarantined those years.

They still hoof their rutted trails—

my errant, young-man paths, the roads

of my money-work and blindness,

my impatience with you.


Hear me, my son. You, your mother,

our neighbors and friends, the evenings

we pedaled along the Nidda’s

nettled banks to the Rendeler Hof,

the cider we poured from bluestone

Bembel, the laughter we shared,

the cool fennel-laden air

of northern summer nights,

the way you cooed from your harness

on the ride home:


it’s all here, and you’re here—

this side of breath, just over my shoulder.



2nd Place, Strokestown International Poetry Competition, 2020 (Ireland)

Published in the U.S. in Five Points, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2020

bottom of page