My Father is a Cypress
His bayou is my bayou, his knees my knees,
pushing himself up within me toward the sky
neither of us will reach. Angerwood
twists upward, unable to hold its needles
like conifers without rage. How can I tell
his cinnamon from my gold
when our silences sound identical?
How can the living contain the dead
when the dead were here first?
My father is not a cypress. I am not a tree,
but I contain him like a seed within a cone.
We stand knee-deep in tea-colored water,
draw it into ourselves through roots gone bad,
father and son, deciduous and drowning.
R.G. Evans is the author of the poetry collection Overtipping the Ferryman (Aldrich Press Poetry Prize, 2014) and the forthcoming novella The Noise of Wings. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in Rattle, The Literary Review, and Weird Tales, among other publications. His original music, including the song “The Crows of Paterson,” was featured in the 2012 documentary All That Lies Between Us. Evans teaches high school and college English and Creative Writing in southern New Jersey. rgevanswriter.com