Inside My Father's Bomber Dream - After Richard Hugo

here's one more for the Major,
my father, who gave me his name

"No blame can stain us now, father..."

or is it

"No stain can blame us now, father..."

nuance is everything

or is it

[from "Skies My Father Taught Me" series]

"Take air away and even fire falls" - Richard Hugo


1
Though he tried to teach
me once, just a void kid
avoidant of air and heights,

"mira, look, here's how to purposefully stall in flight"

not at all interested in the
favor of the lesson my answer
is screaming and piss pants,
no chance to stall a bladder,
his disgust palpable, my head
catches a glancing knuckle,
does not make me calmer.

Many years, much is
forgiven or lost in cloud,
still I have no idea what
the inside of my father's
bomber looks like, how
it smells when filled with
fear perhaps passed off
as gun powder, flak, fuel,
flame, smoke so black and
deep in the pores
it stinks a lifetime -

Yours. Also mine by blood.

Still, your son is proud
though fear is the meal
you often fed dutifully
eaten with sliced bread
so white white light in
the shaking hand, dread
the tarnished knife and
fork, simple instruments
to quell the terror in you
served up to sons,
at least one of them.

I know now your fear
made mine, yet, many
years in the making, this:

Dessert is a son's pardon.

You nod, wink now,
in dream now all's
understood, unsaid
but conveyed -

not too late the father-hope.


2
Dear Major, If you have one
more bomb to let go let's do
it together. God has chosen
me and It wants revenge,
REVENGE the name on a
sudden wall, a painted scene,
swamp in black light 3-D,
bizarre, iridescent Spanish
moss, dense, tangled, sways,
hints an unseen wind and

there you are,

old portrait, in uniform,
good looks, sad, even
gentle eyes I dimly recall
in person, a smile noncommittal,

the war is still on.

Suddenly I lose stomach for it all.

I forgive everything.

You are young, a bomber pilot
dropping heavy kisses backed
up in the bomb-bay.

There's a wall somewhere
central in every capitol
of the world with your name on it.

Promise, I'll drop your name, not
bombs, every son's chance I get.

See all these sailors here
on the boardwalk in packs?

I'd kiss them all,
say to them,

Love your old man,

what he's seen is in his eyes,
finally dare to look hard there,
the face is yours,

no talking allowed,
no guessing either,

watch his hands,
what they do.

Never say

it's over.

Love, I mean.

by Warren Falcon

Comments (1)

Oh I do love this... for me it's skinny dipping in a wilderness lake. I love the smell of earth.. Gary would have loved this. Red