Dark Kentucky Holler

Sean Patrick Hill


To the side
of the interstate, a few lights
by the barn,
dim house, dim star,
wavering beacon in the aftermath
of day
and of history,
but who’s to stop the piping
in of culture,
shrill news that penetrates
the purple curtain
and the telephone, smart phone,
information’s preternatural cough
flickering whatever it was
Emerson thought
a candle
to be—
shootings at Newtown,
drone strikes
in a desert hardly
children dead everywhere, my father
who served there,
my father at stage three
lung cancer, my father like me
a teacher,
a father faulted as any,
a man in the process
of becoming
a man in a country
giving rise to a lunatic fringe,
frayed asylum,
frantic and frenzied fathers finding
the inner mother,
prowling the crowd waiting for their child
to stand up
and be counted.