David Bottoms

(1949 / Georgia / United States)

After The Stroke

By the time he'd hit eighty, he was something out of Ovid,
his long beak thin and hooked,
the fingers of one hand curled and stiff.
Still, he never flew. Only sat in his lawn chair by the highway,
waving a bum wing at passing cars.
I was a timid kid, easily spooked. And it seemed like touchy gods
were everywhere—in the horns
and roar of diesels, in thunder, wind, tree limbs thrashing
the windows at night.

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