The Reasons

A father is fate
say the ancient oracles

or the modernist therapist
or the son despondent

harrowing against.
A mother 

is mystery or
memory, a makeshift

stay against the father.
And me? I see now

how easy it was to be
a son. How if the son dies

before the father 
there is no end to it

and so what eases
the father is the imminence 

of his death, which eases
too the son

if the son is not
a child. And a mother?

Her death is that hole.
In the earth or the universe.

In the heart or the hell
the family has wrought

where the father vanishes
and all is her absence.

No one solves these.
No one outlives these.

There are reasons poems live,
people die. There are reasons.

Copyright © 2024 by David Mura. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 29, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.