I walk with the dreams of the child I was,
who walks with his father, handsome and hurried.
My mother is young as the first wish of love.
The ember of youth is a crumbling fury.
The fire is siphoned away by the wind;
the last wave of heat resolves into night.
A man is a paper sack full of sins:
greasy with donuts and earthly delights;
dissolving with coffee and factory work.
Calloused in hand and calloused in vision,
dim-eyed, dim-witted, the ember gone dark,
he kicks the gray ash for black coals to shun.
A man at the camp pyre, boy laid to rest,
donuts to dollars to donuts to dust.
originally published in Fjords Review