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Wild Flowers

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At fifty-six, having left my mother,   
my father buys a motorcycle.   
I imagine him because   
it is the son’s sorrowful assignment   
to imagine his father: there,   
hunched on his mount,   
with black boots, with bad teeth,   
between shifts at the mill,   
ripping furrows in the backroads,   
past barn and field and silo,   
past creek and rock,   
past the brown mare,   
sleek in her impertinence,   
never slowing until he sees   
the bull.   He stops, pulls   
his bike to the side of the road,   
where golden rod and clover grow,   
walks up to the fence, admires   
its horns, its wet snout snorting and blowing   
its breath, its girth, its trampling   
of small wild flowers.

Poem copyright © 2008 by Matthew Vetter. Reprinted from The Louisville Review, No. 63, Spring 2008, by permission of Matthew Vetter.
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Wild Flowers

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