What time is made of

The daylily, one bright bloom
out near the road: a day.

Cicada husk on the back wall,
near the leaky faucet.

A car, a wake of dust
settling across the grass,

the dry lawn.

What a blackbird sounds like,
or crickets ticking.

A crop duster measures the fields.

The buzzer on the microwave—
let it cool a bit, so he can eat it.

What a blackbird sounds like.

Four channels, maybe five—
trying to find something he’ll watch,

a cooking show, or Victory Television—
This is not the throne of rejection, this is

the throne of grace. Are you willing
to get on your knees and tell him

what your needs are?

The first cold month, I kept
a candle burning all day, a ritual.

The air outside is a scrim
of gnats at your face.

Brown water funnels into a culvert
at the road, brown water flowing out.

My father coughing, drops his cigarette,
it rolls beneath the wheelchair,

bright bloom on the carport.

What a cricket sounds like.
The daylily here, then not.

Copyright © 2018 by Ed Madden. Originally published in Michigan Quarterly, Fall 2018. Used with the permission of the poet.