Smoking; he stands by the apple tree, they bought
when they came. And, into his thoughts comes the word...
Somewhere he read it is always raining.
A falling mother gathers unto herself,
both swelling and clearing the path of descent.
The cigarette droops on his lip, almost touching his chin.
Thinking of nothing his mouth tastes of nothing
but condensed smoke turned to tar: asinthin and disgusting.
The swollen mother, subject to friction, jellified
silver; a sac held by motion: obeys the laws of time.
He spits the burnt-out cigarette like an olive stone.
Picks up his saw, and begins work again
to add to the pile of branches: that he will burn.
And as he saws, the teeth gutter on the green wood,
slip wet from the cut, hack the living wood in grinding shreds.
Only a laser can see that moment when a raindrop bursts.
When in a vacuum of lubricosity the laws of time break.
And, the parts conform to the terminal velocity of the whole.
The branch tears and twists away leaving a ragged, lacy spike.
He drops it. Rotates the pot. And, begins on the next easiest branch.
He thinks to himself, that he might use this metaphor of rain:
to explain, where it all went wrong, and evaporated:
when drinking whiskey in a darkened snug with strangers.
Perhaps by then he will have expanded his theory, to include the physics of clouds
and a description of the centrifugal force that creates a mother.
He turns the pot again, and again, but then he doesn't cry.
Instead he thinks of the sigh, on the children's ward,
when told by the doctor that she will live.
In the moment before she said she was leaving.
And instead of the Nobel prize, he shovels stamped coins into a machine.
And instead of an audience, he bitterly explains to the nearest disinterested person.
The tree is now a shapeless stick.
The one thing that was ours.
Of course they say 'they'll be friends', to friends; and civil.
But he cannot forgive her; for loving his daughter.