HAROLD WHIT WILLIAMS
The Father and the Son and Canadian Geese
Everything blurred by mist and fog —
The bog, the man and boy, the park
Trail behind them, this flock honking
Their arrival south, the towering
Oaks, elms, sweetgums, leaf-stripped
Tiptops lost in low clouds. The boy's
Grip tightens on the man's hand.
With the other he lifts binoculars,
All but useless. A shame not
To see them, says the man, after
Such a long drive and all. But the boy
Squints, leans a tobogganed head
Forward, swears he can see shapes
Shifting in the distance, ghostly grey
Images flashing in and out of fog.
The boy keeps quiet, mulling over
That this must be his imagination.
A shame not to see them, the man
Repeats, after such a long drive.
The honking sporadic, then stopping
Altogether. Hum of a nearby highway,
Drip-droppings upon dead leaves.
A woodpecker drumming. The boy
Inhales, holds his breath like a secret.
Harold Whit Williams is guitarist for the rock band Cotton Mather. He is recipient of the 2014 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, and his collection, Backmasking, won the 2013 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize from Texas Review Press. His latest collection, Lost in the Telling, is available from FutureCycle Press. (www.dailyworkersongbook.com)