I never met a hobbit’s child
in a slum, in a dirt hole song,
what a prince could kill for words,
what a stone-face could own
with broken chinking in a wall.
And dragons were scarce in shucks
and grain bins. I watched galls swell
in the sunflowers, pretending aliens
hatched in the weeds. Stars looped
into a cloud somehow, rain shook
the rotting springhouse and an owl.
There wasn’t tea in a garden,
just waste beer and drip wine,
and sunlight cauterized it there.
See my hat. It holds the ashes.
I’ll let them ride a winter breeze
with my hat’s true empty looks
burning home through my dreams.
Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kendall and their son Alan.