Emily Vizzo

Nobody seemed to have the least idea which way the Pacific lay and all were in an enormous hurry to get started

                                                                                                                  —David McCullough


I’m beginning to understand myself as a farmer.


I have seeds, which I have stolen or bought on credit


and the fields don’t belong to me either. The landlord is remote


or harsh. When I plant things


I plant things in the wrong season.


The winds are so subtle nothing feels them.


The plants rise when I’m not looking and they are not tender to me.


They are indifferent to my debt.


They live a dry and wild life.


Tho mums swarmed her wrist my grandmother’s last word


was inexpertly spoken. Her breath rattled, unkempt. Of my planted things


she made a leather fan. Death will do that.


My father never wore a wedding ring. Neither did his father.


Some plumbers don’t. It can tear your finger off in the dark cramp beneath a house.


Before my dad would let us touch him he would scrub his hands.


I am grateful for my dad’s 10 fingers.


I am grateful for them.