I don’t mean to intrude, the courier interrupted
us at prayer in the Baptist shack with no
stained-glass windows and too many cobwebs
and dust bunnies, but I have a letter from your
father the general. Outside, the sleet broke
the sky and then melted. She handed me the letter
and left, the schoolgirls, veterans, and cowboys
hushed. I dismissed choir practice with a Bless you
and have a good summer, climbing the stairs
to my room. Poured champagne and ate a banana
after I pulled the letter from my pocket,
reading it by lantern light. Son, it began,
I know you’ve regarded me as superhuman,
and think I’ve shunned you for choosing
the ministry instead of genetics or geology.You’ve conquered icebergs with more
grace than I have with massacres
and slaughters from a government plane.
My victims’ blood seeps from my heart
to the boots that lackeys have licked.
But I’ve learned, as I scrape through this
last day toward death and damnation,
that the loveliest reality I’ve known
is an orchard of cherry trees.
May you blossom.
David Spicer has poems in Chiron Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Easy Street, Third Wednesday, Reed Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, Midnight Lane Boutique, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He's author of Everybody Has a Story and five chapbooks, his latest chapbook From the Limbs of a Pear Tree, from Flutter Press.