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Rocket Man


Death is at the door, the Reynolds Wrap
blade of her scythe slightly bent, her mom
on the sidewalk with a cup of warm beer.

I worry about things I shouldn'tó
a pain in my knee, the stain on my shirt,
that puddle of oil underneath the car.

The trick is perspective, but it's tough
to view the world as if from outer space
while holding to your love for what's in it.

At 2 a.m., drunk, I step outside. Orion
hangs objectively above our dark house.
I recline in the yard and count down.

A jogger wakes me just before dawn,
fearing I might be a corpse. I tiptoe
up the stairs, hide out in my study.

When I finally descend, no one
seems to notice my pressurized suit
or the crater I made on reentry.

My wife eats leftover candy from the bowl.
Our infant son teethes on a rubber skull.
The neighbors dismantle their graveyard.

Coffee's on the counter. I fill up my mug.
It's the cracked one that says I Love You.


Owen McLeod

Hayden's Ferry Review

Fall / Winter 2016


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