His sandals were found
pointing south from the cave
next to his drinking cup. The vines
he’d staked tailed into the ravine
where the river was sinewy
over the rocks.
Pooled water saved his quicksilver face
for the occasional sun to radiate.
Harvest by harvest he’d watched
himself perish in his son’s dark eyes.
If only the sun would ripen that gaze
and make it light
like the wine in his mouth,
as playful as his younger name.
At dusk father and son stood side by side
without glancing sideways. Both wondered
why all of the blackbirds gathered
in the same flowering tree,
and how they could agree
on which one was the richest.
Jonathan Wells, a member of the American Academy of Poets, is the author of The Man With Many Pens from Four Way Books. He lives in New York City. He recently read at the Millbrook Library.