Your mother loved my poems.
That’s a killer, she would say.
Her knees grew weak
Her voice in smoke dark flames.

She took me to the high Sierra
and took me, bone to bone,
the crush of love, backs braced on stone
we keened the thin blue air,

Gasping as I tried to tell her
how all the sun I loved her.
Always it came out a song.
Then one day she changed:

Grew big with what
would soon be you.
Not fun, she said
picked up, moved on.

Forgetting me, except perhaps
in you.  She never wrote
or never called. Her mother
told me what she could.

So here’s to you,
my son of song
unknown each between the two.
Come visit when a voice

slips through, a voice
you never knew, and
when you look and wonder
why your eyes
have such altitude.


Will Kirkland
July, 2012