He crooks my head
toward his lungs slowing
in the morphine
bed and then I’m there, 
at black of skull, 
in the rhododendron 
blooms where my dad 
is still pulling rope 
to cobble the trunk split 
down the crotch by August
lightning, shattering pink
flurries onto the steam 
of hemlock. On my back, 
in the mulch, among my 
tanks and soldiers, I squint 
through flowered arms 
to catch the leaking light 
of day and watch him 
sweat and spit and try
to tie off the wound.
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