Sandy Longhorn


Itís the fatherís duty to comfort the sick child,
her ear a small red dish, warm to his touch.
He presses it against his flannel chest ó
the rhythm of his rocking, his distant heartbeat,
the soft words he repeats above her head
her only entrance to sleep.   

The child grows out of his reach.
She dodges his confessions, and her ear
becomes a funnel, letting the morsels
of his slick speech loop through without pause.
The ear no longer aches, no longer leans
toward any other body.