Now That His Husband Is Gone, He Wears Only Dresses by DM Macormic


In a city park so busy
it almost seems private,

my father cuts across
damp fields. His gown drags

a showy train of crimson
silk, wetted dark & dull.

Near a pond, he pulls apart
bits of stale bread for fish.

Sowing crumbs from his fist,
he watches the surface breach

like glass above the place
where mouths hurry open.

He’s too tall not to hasten
families as they pass him

whatever he is; part boy, part
hair panicked & blonde, legs

of unanswered prayer. And who is
to blame for this crude delivery

of a body when there isn’t
a midwife for this kind of birth?

He sends his loss in a card. Inside,
a picture I drew for him when

I was a child. Between a green ribbon
for earth, & a sky unmistakably blue

two scribbly men are holding hands,
their giant fingers knotted together.


DM MACORMIC is a PhD candidate at Oklahoma State University. His poems appear in Smartish Pace, Mid-American Review, CutBank, Redivider, The Journal, and The Literary Review. He is a recipient of the 2011 AWP Intro Journals Award for Poetry.