AUBADE FOR MY FATHER WHO LEAVES FOR WORK AT THE BATTERY FACTORY BY 3:40 A.M.
This morning I think of tucking you into a daffodil bell
and sealing closed the mouth of the flower
so that you can sleep in past 4am for once.
Inside there, the sun would be even more yellow
on your face as it woke you. Maybe you would
take your time with breakfast for once, chewing,
butterfly-like, the yolky pollen caked on each stamen,
instead of standing at the breakfast counter,
eating handfuls of dry cheerios from the bag
and sipping Diet Coke, the fizz, prickly as it mixes
with cereal. You would have to wait for me
to release you from the petals and I would wait
till late afternoon, till the whole day was as
good as spent. Maybe with all that time to yourself
you would give into a nap or two, you would
touch the pistol, the flower’s female heart
throbbing with life and something would shift
in you and you’d decide to never return to the factory.
This would be cruel then, because we both know
that you have to go to the factory, that you
have to watch batteries as the crawl down
the conveyor belt, clipping their wires in place,
each wire thin as the necks of the daffodil
I want to hide you in. Dad, I want to plant daffodils
in your sunken-in mattress, weight of your body
worn into that valley where you sleep never enough.
I want to fill that valley with soil, I want you to miss
work. I want to go to the factory, and build
all your batteries for you, but here I am with the daffodils,
planning an impossible escape.
BIO: Robin Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, the Gateway Review, and tilde. He is a graduate student at Adelphi University pursing an MFA in Creative Writing. He is the Editor at Large for Village of Crickets, Social Media Coordinator for Oyster River Pages and interns for Porkbelly Press. He is an out and proud bisexual transgender man passionate about LGBT issues. He loves poetry that lilts in and out of reality and his queerness is also the central axis of his work.