My father was one who best understood
the shy verse of sawdust and steel.
When he did speak, after aged bourbon
by the charred pepper glow of campfire,
his words would bring dryness to the dark,
the way engine-oiled machine parts are ordered
and arranged under the tongue. I listened. More
than he knew. I saw how his words had shapes,
how some of them circled through the air, above the field meadows,
as turkey vultures do after a long, pleasing hunt.
George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, The Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Havana Times, South China Morning Post, The Buffalo News, and more.
See all his poems on Tea House here.