Ambition—died on August 3, 2015, a
sudden death. I buried ambition in the
forest, next to distress. They used to
take walks together until ambition
pushed distress off the embankment.
Now, they put a bracelet around my
father’s ankle. The alarm rings when
he gets too close to the door. His
ambitious nature makes him walk to
the door a lot. When the alarm rings,
he gets distressed. He remembers that
he wants to find my house. He thinks
he can find my house. His fingerprints
have long vanished from my house.
Some criminals put their fingers on
electric coils of a stove to erase their
fingerprints. But it only makes them
easier to find. They found my father in
the middle of the road last month, still
like a bulbless lamp, unable to recall its
function, confused like the moon. At
the zoo, a great bald eagle sits in a
small cage because of a missing wing.
Its remaining wing is grief. Above the
eagle, a bird flying is the eagle’s
memory and its prey, the future.
Copyright © 2018 by Victoria Chang. Originally published in West Branch. Used with the permission of the poet.
Victoria Chang is the author of Barbie Chang (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). She will be the Poem-a-Day Guest Editor in May 2019, and she lives in Southern California.
Date Published: 2018-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/obit-ambition