Jory Mickelson

My Father as a Clock

There is nothing left to tell
about the watch I kept,

anticipating the coil
of my father’s spring,

regularly irregular, the hands
reached to strike. My flinching,

a wake before the clock. This is how
I know it though I know it can’t be

true: His silence was a quiet
I couldn’t ease into, though his hands

stilled, stayed bound. Their years
of swinging ‘round had marked

our face. After he stopped we circled
the same ruler-narrow rooms, years

of silence, then the stutter of his talk
resumed. There’s nothing left to tell you

You will probably end up in jail,
you’re just that kind of kid:

The first thing I heard him say.

Jory MickelsonJory Mickelson‘s work has appeared in The Florida Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Superstition Review, The Collagist, The Los Angeles Review, The Adirondack Review, and other journals. He received an Academy of American Poet’s Prize in 2011 and was a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry. You can follow him on Twitter @poetryphone

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