Walk with Dad

1 November 2016

When I express concern that
war is breaking out,
my dad tells me not to worry.
There’s always war somewhere –
wojna zawsze gdzieś się toczy.

We walk through the dark,
my dad and I.
He carries a knife in his sock.
There are dangerous dogs
where we walk,
but he keeps to his way.

Zawsze zabijają się nawzajem
someone is always killing someone, he says,
and if I respond with a shock,
he says that there is always tragedy.
Niech inni opłakują
let others
do the mourning.

Our path stays the same.
The dogs bark.
Someone yells from a car, while
we walk through the dark.

We go after sunset
between rows
of orange-brick,
post-World War II
bungalows.
My dad calls the suburbs, sypialnie
– the bedrooms.
We are asleep too: between the houses,
we haunt our own corridors.

My dad and I, we don’t walk arm in arm,
but I do step in step with him.
Pools of electric light
and cosmic darkness
glide over us.
Here is the divine moment.
Here is sacred thought.

There is always a fight somewhere, it seems.
Even here, while we walk,
we are quietly,
almost imperceptibly,
at war.

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