I wasn’t born a bastard. I knew my father,
if I could ever know how to define father.
Four children failing to grip untamable wind,
water in their angry fists, liquefied father.
They refuse to mail us the accident reports,
only this one, death-certified, glass-eyed father.
My sister stepped on a Nigerian crate nail
to unpack all that’s left, our modified father.
The church let me choose the processional music,
and Jesus didn’t come to say goodbye, father.
Raspy John Denver is still shouldering sunshine,
inept replacement for a lullaby, father.
Laurel Ann Lowe is a poet, playwright, and scholar based in Atlanta, Georgia.