Gravity Keeps the Moon in Orbit
This morning I went back, was lying
on the carpet with you and your sisters
climbing over me, clawing at my shirt,
trying to ride my bucking back, knees digging
into my ribs, elbows and feet flying, the air filled
with giggles and pleas of Give up, Dad
while your mother stirred something the kitchen.
Tonight the earth spins and the moon beams
through the den window, your sisters
are grown, and I write a check
for the one who married
for love, who needs me
a little bit yet, called to drop a hint
(a baseball glove for a grandson),
and I wonder if you’d’ve called
when a romance dropped and broke
or a job was held beyond
your grasp, or had a son.
Now I sit here holding –
it fits almost perfectly in my palm –
the plaster cast we made
of your warm hand, while you slept,
your sleep not really sleep at all,
before they brought the papers to sign.
Even now I feel your knee,
my hand resting under the sheet.
The cold fingers loose, cupping, closed
enough to hold, but still able to let
through, and pattern
the light on my lap.
I place the cast back on the bookcase shelf,
slip the check in its envelope,
run my lip along its gluey edge,
walk to the mailbox
and look up.
Jack Mackey lives in southern Delaware. He holds an M.A. in English from the University of Maryland. His work has appeared in publications from Mojave River Press, Third Wednesday, Rat’s Ass Review, Mobius, and others. At age 14 his son Kevin was killed by a drowsy driver.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.