elegy written in a city cul-de-sac

But, O the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!

John Milton, Lycidas

no need, my boy, to shed a tear
when, lost in the crowded urban
thicket, you enter a blind alley.
you can always step back and try
a different path. and so i did, over
and over, telling myself that it was
what he would have taught me.

to tell the truth, he never really talked
to me. all he could do was give orders
and enforce them. so it was not easy
for me to talk to him either. we lived
like strangers under one roof, me with
my nose in books, him going on fishing
trips and drinking himself to death.

so, who was that boy now standing
in front of a wall at the end of a new
dead end? i can not remember. i just know
that it took me many years to get here
and there is no way back, but i am
too tired to climb the wall, so i lie down
on the cobblestones and fall asleep.

if i dream of your old fishing rod,
i may forget everything else, father.

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