Isometrics

Some days all I can feel is
my father’s handshake. Called a vise

grip by more than one old
beau. An addiction to finger exercises

he did while running
every morning. They kept my own

hands occupied
in the early weeks after quitting

those smokes
he hated viciously. And I still practice

them now that I have returned
to the road and to fight

back tears. No matter how many sets
I do, memories are all that’s left. And the way

they left his mind
too soon.

Natural Climbers

Straw was a factor
in his fall. No one drowned
in the river
that day. No more bridges

collapsed

that year. Hay is for
the rest of the time
he considers descent.