A few of my parents’ friends kept scanners
in their homes. Sleek black boxes on a shelf
with a row of red lights chasing one another.
While my parents and their friends visited,
I’d sit and watch the lights, a slow-town boy
itching for something sensational to halt them.
An eighteen-wheeler lost its load, cattle are
scattered from hell to breakfast on the bypass.
The grieving widower shot himself in the barn—
in such a case as that I would see my father rise,
excuse himself, and go. Always go. Someone
has to be the face of Christ in the wreckage, son.
Someone has to wear God’s hat. Always go.