My Father

Sent me out to gather feathers
Left by crows feasting on the dead
Soldiers littering the shoreline
While he pillaged wax from a hive
In the bowl of a cypress tree
Up the hill from our hut.

His eyes go far away when he tells me
About the mainland, a rocky peninsula
Where he was king, and I listen
But I don’t believe.

All his stories--the queen who loved
A bull, her deformed son
In the caves, the girl who spun leagues
Of unbreakable thread--as real
To him as sand under my feet.
But what should I think of a father
Who weaves the skeletons
Of giant birds from olive branches?

The End

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