Since my father died

by Harry Calhoun

Sometimes I feel so close
to death that I dream I am rubbing
the bones of my father’s spine
poking out of his back.
But those are isolated instances.
Most of the time
I feel as if I’m riding a train
woefully behind schedule,
its whistle trailing ghostlike
Into the constant night behind me
clattering slowly but surely
over the low and gentle hills
of his living backbone.