Brian Beatty

Loyal, Kentucky

An old man about to die

coughing blood
carnations
into a handkerchief

with his initials
finely embroidered
in one corner

asked his wife
for help

getting into his
suit and tie and shoes

then climbed
all the way back

under the cold covers

a threadbare sheet
and tattered family quilt
that he imagined

with his hair combed wet

choosing to ignore
his sons

and their wives
still kneeling at his bedside

in prayer
and out by the barn

that horse
one or another of them
trucked here

across the horizon
somehow

to graze
the blue hills patiently

waiting to inherit him

like an empty bucket
a cardboard hatbox
the rider’s sunset

hoping against hope
to find faith

in the warm wash of breeze
now suddenly

slow dancing open
the window curtains
he hallucinated

more faded

before joining
seventeen or so dogs

to roll in mud

nobody else in the room
could see.

Copyright © Brian Beatty 2014

Brian Beatty’s jokes, poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, as well as some public arts projects. He also performs as a stand-up comedian and storyteller.

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About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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