My Father Loses a Testicle


My Father Loses a Testicle
Spring 1994

On Monday, my father has surgery
to remove a large prostate stone
and his left testicle, chronically inflamed—

he tells me this on the phone.
For a year, he has peed blood and carried
the tender weight of himself in his clothes.

That day, he will wake at five
for the long drive, before the sun breaks
the honed edge of the dark, surgical pines.

We forget—the spectacle of mortality
closes ahead and behind. The corn fields
wash away and turn to stone;

the quick creeks harden with silt
and debris—we look, but cannot find
the places of origin any more.


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