for the two Cliffs
The mailbox stashed in the century-old
red barn with its sharply angled roof
catches the light from a tall open door.
Next to it sits an anchor-heavy Remington
typewriter, its keys long rusted in place,
its frame decorated by the fine lace
of this season’s spiders.
A burnished red mailbox flag angles
frozen over painted white words—
P.S. I love you—a perfect postscript
for the typed letters that must have
been popped into its galvanized
It’s what I tell you, my Cliff,
when sometimes I step across
the threshold of our house to
smell wood shavings, dog,
you, gone these 21 years, son of
ranchers in a place called Rescue,
whose slender barns stretched long
arms around chickens and turkeys
Today another Cliff, not much older
than you’d be now, works within sight
of his barn this blue-sky June afternoon,
weeding a row of something getting ready
to grow in soil once tilled by his father and
grandfather, while hens scratch for worms
and a rooster chortles insistently:
Here I am!
P.S. I love you!
You can hear me read this poem here.