The Cypress  Barry Ballard



If I say that it's the fishing trip, and the slap
of silence against the aluminum hull,
I may not mean that moment, or what lapse
in the wound clock of history woke up and called
to my father from the glistening knives
of light, cutting his heart almost against
his Will. I know now why we never survive
that tugging abstract of a richer life, bent

like a Cypress leaning into the wilting
ethereal, unreal promise of steeper
greens, belonging somehow to the rippling sky
it touches and feels. The shore stirs at unbuilding
the poor parts (our erratic steps), disguised
as sand and water it lures us deeper, deeper.