Erasing black


I live a midnight vigil, lie still

in rain whipped by Montana wind,


try to dream my father back,

deliver a proper farewell --


will wrap myself in his gaze

as he recalls how wild rabbits 


nibbled near his feet at sundown.

The motion sensor made darkness


spring to light. They froze, hopped,

froze again. If I feign sleep, maybe


they will arrive in small leaps,

him trailing with a smile to release


the loss, transform my dream

into a gateway to the past --


boy, age two, dadparalyzed

by polio, alone in some hospital.


I refuse to eat, sit by the window,

breathless, wait. He lurches


on crutches from the night,

brings back a steady light.


                             Timothy Pilgrim