Poetry by Milo Gallagher

Marsh Wintering

 

The garden is a river of mud

             the onion tops              are the sheerest green                          We carry

smudge pots of smoking pine straw                              to prevent frost

            in the fruit trees          

                                                Father swings his tin can                                 like a censer

 

Father has dreams of his father                      

            standing at the end of a long pier                    in a starched white shirt          

                                                                            Through holes in the wood

they can see baby sharks                     chasing minnows                                Grandfather says

                                    come in, there’s plenty to eat               But the fridge

is a white puzzle-box              

                                      full of bottled water

 

When I dream of my father

            he is pulling weeds in a brown field               sometimes far from me and sometimes

even farther                                                                                                         I listen as wind

                           blows from his mouth             I can hear         speckled fawns sleeping

near the brush pile                               nothing else

We shovel ash into raised beds                                   trouble and trouble

the dry dirt                   Nobody talks                                       in my dreams              

We eat turnips                                                 for dinner

                                      White knuckles

boiled with                                                                  vinegar and salt           

 

Milo Gallagher received their BA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in 2015. Their work has appeared previously in The Kenyon Review and online at FreezeRay Poetry