Selected Poems‎ > ‎

A Pheasant is Crossing I-75 north of Grayling

where the highway is a line penciled between trees.
I am changing lanes to avoid it. It is the last day
in the month of expansion,

purple iris, peony fleshy and plump as Mae West.
Today marks one year like pollen stain,

that my father began his lousy check marks
on a schedule of medications he cursed,
then swallowed. That bird, inching its way

across the right lane is becoming a sparrow.
My father told me how he almost drowned
three different times, how someone always saved him.

I put Bruce Springsteen into the CD player
Oh Thunder Road, Oh Thunder Road,
and imagine myself dancing on that porch

in a summer dress, barefoot. I would have left
with Bruce if he would have asked me.
Last year, on this day, I asked my father

if I could call Hospice. Get him some relief.
I’m looking at that god-forsaken bird.
I hate it for not knowing it could die.

Joy Gaines-Friedler