My father called at 1:43 a.m.
to tell me he’d heard an owl.
I will always know the road
to his house exactly.
I imagine the road,
where I used to pick up apples.
Once, I got stung by a bee,
then drove to work
That same winter,
my car slid off an icy overpass.
I stepped into
a tomb of snow
all quiet inside,
dialed his number and waited
for the rings to reach
the sad road of his mouth.
Before beetles hooked their feet to my screen,
as I lie in bed reading with the lamp on,
and before, during, and after dawn, when
newspapers were hitting or missing doorsteps,
my blanket, doubled on itself,
the first fourteen years of my life.
I never wondered where it came from.
Took it to camp,
my kayak at camp.
Airplanes, soup, grilled cheese, blanket.
In the pictures I’m holding
small wooden horse and blanket.
Like most people’s fathers
mine asks when I go that I take things.
I take other things
but not blanket,
leave shelved the chastising
and visible love.
Jamie Buehner published her first chapbook in 2012. She currently lives and teaches in Wisconsin.