For Dustin and Pete, November 23, 2019

Father Figures large
In young boys’ eyes
Headed out early, to work with hand and mind
Type into words, bolts into steel
He molds the world and shapes it,
Bends it to his will
Sells the space and sells the hope
Of a narrow, lonely town—
While houses rise from Iowa fields
And hay looms large in a dewy dawn

Father Figures work,
Learned here, between the squealing pigs
Jostling for the heavy water
Hanging on skinny arms,
Knuckles white with strain—
Here, he thinks, he will yearn to work for more
And here, he thinks, he will feel the majesty of space
The thin lines of domestic cathedrals
The dreams of an architect come to life—
He can do this, too, he thinks—While I can only make it breathe

Father Figures stand
With us now
Two men joined in love, forever
The same love that joined their fathers
To their mothers and led to them—
The living promise of their parents’ fondest hopes
Hold them up before the light
See how they shine, like beams bouncing on the waves
Brilliantly living lives beyond the wildest living dreams of—
Father Figures