shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Jan Presley


Late Elegy for My Father

Only later I would remember
a night when I was ten, and you, just home from the hunt,
were cleaning game birds, feather-fat on the basement floor,
and in one duck, a pliant, rubbery egg
soft shelled as a science trick decalcified in vinegar.
You eased it, hot with blood, into my hands.
I carried it to my room and a nest of towels
where it cooled and hardened to gleaming under a reading lamp.

And if you were with me now
you might not remember, though each of us knew,
how most intentions neither breathe nor wing.