The Father

Remember that September when the city was burning?
I ran down Madison Avenue looking for you.
The phones didn’t work.
I felt like a body
without a soul.
I thought you were dead.
Hours later, I sat on our stoop in Brooklyn,
a bottle of cold seltzer in my lap
and you—
covered in ash, came
across the Queensboro bridge,
home to me.
Then it was spring
and you were inside me
planting the children.
I looked up
at the ceiling
so that I could float over us,
watching it happen
without it happening to me.
Why did I fear
such joy?
Now we are bound
by the boys
who dropped out of my body
into your arms.
And still,
in my mind, the city
is burning,
our sons have not yet been born,
and I am looking for you among the bodies,
the father
they will never have.

"Something Pretty Good" by Marta Lee  acrylic on canvas 24" X 18"

"Something Pretty Good" by Marta Lee
acrylic on canvas
24" X 18"

Wendy Wisner is the author of two books of poems (CW Books), and her poems and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Bellevue Literary Review, the minnesota review, Literary Mama, Brain Child Magazine, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.