The Minutes

Because a shadow
wants to leave you
              but doesn’t know how –
it takes light
years to grow dark
              away from itself,
the way a body
runs its course.

                              My father at rest                             
                              before the day starts,
                                           before I see him walk
                              from his bedroom
                              into the kitchen
                                           it must be sad                                      
                               to be him
                               or see this
                                           and never stop to wonder
                               if he’s being followed
                               by someone
                                           or if it's clean, guileless
                               but then I see my mother
                               and she’s carrying
                                           nothing in her hands
                               and it will not be like this
                               ever, the rest of the day. 

I call this part
shadow play
              I stare as if half-awake
and change something else
a film on the ceiling
              and soon
trees, sun gaps, spouts
and small banter
              excuse themselves
and this is real.
I want to say
              this is real.

                              If I watch my hands
                              long enough
                                          they become borrowed,
                              if we believe 
                              that we are worth more
                                          then it must be true. 
                              My father says pray
                              but what he means is
                                           cup your hands child,
                              watch the water rush
                              from shoal to bank and back
                                           and think of me.

And he is not dead.
He won’t be for a long time.
               It’s gratitude 
that makes me think
about heaviness, so often
               when I hug him 
the way he used to hug me
I think of flesh and bone,
               and blood,
and, if the saying is correct,
if it runs deep 
               between the chambers
then I know the probable
awaits; it’s a bit like 
                rounding the corner
and seeing oneself
for a moment
                stacked next to 
every moment, you say
today I’m going to collect
               the bones
and you stare
for as long as you can,
               you don’t remember moving.

MATTHEW DADDONA is a writer based in New York City. He is a founding member of FLASHPOINT, a spoken word group, as well as the editor of the Tottenville Review. His most recent writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, The Rumpus, Gigantic, and Forklift, Ohio.
The Adirondack Review
FALL 2014