Father, some nights I dream of you, and

Joseph A. W. Quintela

you're putting clenched fingers to pursed lips
and blowing as though you clutch the horn

of Joshua, the great walls of Jericho beginning
to tremble before you, the panicked exuberance

of a hummingbird taking hold of every stone,
the rats streaming away in undulating throng,

just like the weevils and worms that would
burrow back into the ground when we'd lift

rotting pieces of fallen wood in the forests of
Northern Minnesota. I remember the look

on your face as you watched them disappear
into the earth, your eyes transfixed, your lips

open, tracing some wizened spell that might speed
the escape of the disturbed into warm darkness.

I wondered why you insisted on those treks into
the wilderness, carrying but five days provisions

on our backs and fishing for the rest, seven days
with no phone, no motors, no nothing, just you

and me and the silence that nested between us
a father, a son, a wall and no horn to destroy it.