When he turns fifteen, you'll be fifty-four. When he turns thirty, you'll be sixty-nine. This plain arithmetic amazes more than miracle, the constant difference more than mere recursion of father in son. If you reach eighty, he'll be forty-one! The same sun wheels around again, the dawn drawn out and hammered thin as a copper sheet. When he turns sixty you'll be gone. Compacted mud, annealed by summer heat, two ruts incise this ghost-forsaken plain and keep their track width, never to part or meet.
Copyright © 2012 by Devin Johnston. Used with permission of the author.
Devin Johnston was born in Canton, New York in 1970, and grew up in North Carolina. He received a PhD from the University of Chicago.
Johnston is the author of several collections of poetry, including Far-Fetched (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), Traveler: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), and Sources (Turtle Point Press, 2008), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
A co-founder of Flood Editions, Johnston teaches at Saint Louis University in Missouri where he lives.
Date Published: 2012-02-13
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fixed-interval