This John Denver song comes back around
like a semi around a cloverleaf intersection
this morning, as though circling slowly the potential lives
my father might have imagined for me,
none of which I am living —
He was thinking professional:
me power-breakfasting with suits,
the peculiar brightness of our faces
under 7 A.M. fluorescence.
He was thinking international:
me flipping decisively through a briefcase
at an airport in Geneva, laughing
self-consciously at my rusty French.
Perhaps he made the occasional compromise
toward reality by thinking academic:
he taps down an arched, echoing hallway
with a conspicuously buffed floor
to the heavy door of my office,
where I’m typing on a Corona,
half-glasses severely bisecting my gaze,
not pausing to look up from my essay
on thirteenth-century Chinese pictograms.

Surely he was not thinking of me
wearing his old Jerry Jeff Walker shirt,
blasting ghetto anthems
during yoga practice
in a house with no furniture.