For Mara
On her mother’s porch,
I kiss my oldest daughter
goodbye. She is
weeping. This is a simple
pain that places me in my life
like a father’s strong hand
setting something down
on the table.
This is not the pain
I need books, or a lover’s eyes,
to understand, or the pain of
my childhood I may never
understand. This is simple:
a tree falling through the seasons;
the whale too hoarse to sing;
sand brought back home
in the shoes, shaken out on
the suburban grass, where
it will mistake the sound
of cars for the sound
of the sea.