Fall 1988 • Vol. X No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1988 |

Neptune’s Daughter

Two sons come home on a bus, but she's unaccounted for, left behind at the shore. I chide the lady driver who should have counted. And then—cartoons of fish debating on TV; people are arriving for a party. Still no daughter. Paint cans, plants in pots, a rake. I try to extract our green car from the cellar. At last it stands in the driveway of my youth but where will I go to find her, what if she isn't there, my dashing daughter? Later she returns, gracing the prow of a yacht. Five years old, her face gray as snow, a bitter fact no one could love enough. What have we done to distort her emotions, oh my daughter, my daughter! With mouth closed over water, she has a trick to play. The night is getting old; brutal dawn will carry her off, but the dampness lingers. In my dark red blanket, I huddle like the riddle of a god who lost his daughter.

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