On the Way to Vukovar

By | 13 May 2024

There was a disturbance of night a thrill of hills,
a whip of road worth watching.

You’ve dreamt him reappearing since you were a child,
from some crag of rock some crack of morning

and there he was slender fox
wending through the headstones.

I always knew my grandfather
was patient as slow-melting

snow, but when I say
his name I still can’t get it right—

some syllables cut like wind
others curl like wildfire.

So we’re by the road again ignition off
& everything glittering, frost

on the windscreen. My mother’s
blue cardigan smudges into midnight,

but we can’t tell if he’s still there
or if the night is a door

leading nowhere, so I write the poem
the song the score for breath

to fill the aching silence. If you find him,
I’ll be waiting. If you find him, let him go.

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