Father and Son
by James Keller


We are the saddest of animals.
A father may love his son deeply
and never, never tell him until
he lays dying, remembering
more than one sunset when he stood
alone and thought, 'Why can't I tell
my son I love him?'

Those words remain unspoken on
a mountain top watching the sun die,
while his son visits his grandparents' farm
where as a child he played
and was happy in the cow shed
carrying a pail of steamy raw milk,
with a white moustache.

No more milk, just meat and memories
of the animals' innocent wet eyes
in the late afternoon before
supper was served in the kitchen,
his grandmother's simple food
and now in his restaurant, he can't make
anything that good.