The Lost Father

Under the lamp of childhood, the atlas of the world

is open to the man: his fingers travel

continents, stroke the blue seas,

cross their blood red lines

to America — to that inevitable page, with circles

where his father had set down his whisky glass

on the Nebraska plain, with pencilled names

of strangers and train times:

the whole damn Western in which the hero flees,

reduced to its director’s scribbled notes

of a young man on a train, hurrying to some future

from an unforgiving past.