Long Road Home

The funeral home
where they reduced
my father’s body
to dust is now
a Portland brew pub.

I had
a beer there
on his birthday.

The traffic
outside
would not
slow down.

Later, I walked back
to the car
remembering his wry smile–
Dad was a teetotaler.

The geese
above the river
that day
stitched their sky quilt
In the normal way

and the rain clouds
hung above
the bridges
like the furrowed brows
of ancient sky gods.

The tire slap
on the pavement
on the way home
reminded me
of the ten thousand miles
we traveled in his Volkswagen bus
along roads where everyone’s memories
collect and scatter
like cottonwood seeds.

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