the circling years
James Lineberger

Charlie’s been sitting in the bed, covers drawn
about his hips, head bowed, as if kept
alive only by the death that has hovered about him
for days, but when we bring Geoffrey in
to say goodbye he raises his arms and pulls the child
into an awkward embrace saying now the circle
is complete
as if composing the old song himself
murmuring awkwardly the way he used to
when he and Vicki
were making love when
it didn’t matter how clumsy the words, only their precious cargo,
unbroken