Plant your feet
was his instruction
on how to hit a ball
or break a jaw.
I was young enough
still to dream it
or at least remember
my feet being quick,
never still, alive.
I thought I was
the quickest of all,
but really, no.
I was only a kid
who couldn’t box
or hit a ball,
no matter how he
wanted that to be.
I disappointed him,
and he disregarded me.
Raising a Boy
Raise your boy somewhere with old cars out back.
He will pay them no attention, except to note
they exist, and maybe one day he will haul them
off the property, calling them an eyesore,
a nest for foxes and mice, a den for addicts
or thieves, a danger to children playing.
Or he’ll do nothing about it because he thinks of war
or business or love, or the environment or art,
or nothing at all, and rust and the weeds will hide
it away until another boy comes with a pain
he must get out by smashing old windows
with stones or bricks—he will dent the hood,