Cement

George Perreault




Last night I dreamt of the television buzzing,

a huge storm hovering over New Orleans,

a boiling dark green mass, almost gelatinous on the screen,

thinking about my son, huddled in his home north of the lake,

but of course it was only the wind here on our own particular night,

scarecrow thrown to the ground, flagpole snapped in half,

the tree Fiona calls her fort, a scarlet curls willow which twists and

tumbles to the grass and hides her in dappled shade all summer,

now stripped of leaves, and then my dead wife's brother 

gone to the roof of an Albuquerque hotel to fix the banging vent cover,

lifting it as the wind filled it like a sail, flinging him over the edge:

thinking this as I walk Fiona to the car,

the gusts rushing past, half turning like bear grasping

at salmon leaping upward in a spawning desperation,

how the family speculated what he might have said

as he plunged toward the cement:

shit, we agreed, he just said shit.