How to Make a Doll Father

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

My father is a shaft of wheat.
Cut down and collected,

bound into the shape of a man.
Voodoo doll or corn-man,

I dress him in stitched paper,
soak him in rose water.

I bring him out into the field
where some devil watches

and his corn dolly bride awaits,
her legs open to the moon.

I make a corn baby
out of a button and tips

of goldenrod, then, a cradle
by digging a hole in the dirt.

I break sticks with my hands,
arrange them into a pyre,

strike the match three times,
cup it with my palm and wait

for the flame to transfer:
a harvest of grief.

The honest sky comes down to say
a water prayer, my father

becomes smoke, becomes me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020