Not the Wind, Not the View

Matt Morton

Two thousand miles away from here, my dad
is lying in a strange room, being tended to.
It is always getting later. No matter
if it's morning dampening the earth,
or burnt orange evening rending itself apart,
the doldrums of afternoon stuck in between.
This morning, I was sifting through
a famous nearly-dead novelist's letters,
wondering why he'd kept them all
so neatly filed away. I wasn't certain,
but I had an idea. An idea
cannot fix a heart. It cannot douse
a house on fire, which earlier I thought
my neighbor's was, but no, he was burning
wood in his backyard. Right now, I'm heating
a frozen dinner. In the studio next door,
a woman is singing, and a voice on my radio
is trying to resuscitate itself beneath layers
of static. I had an idea that each day seems
the same, yet somehow shorter.
Slight variances in the weather.
Rhythmic substitutions in the traffic's pulse.
I'm not sure what, but something
is long overdue. Do you understand
what it is I am saying? Somewhere
in America my father is dying and I am
sitting here, listening to the radio.