Driving home from my parent’s house
On Father’s Day. Feeling guilty
For almost hugging him—for
Touching his arm instead. We sit
Outside while my brother cooks
Hamburgers and my nephew
Enjoys his new BB gun. An
Extended family of flies
Lands, two at a time, on every
Surface—even the barrel. We
Wave them away until our arms
Get tired. Mom sits across from
Me and she points over my
Shoulder at the solitary
Crow perched in a cypress tree.
He’ll be here long after we’re gone,
She says, and I notice she keeps
Her inhaler close at hand now.
It’s my security blanket,
She says. I worry about her
More now. And I don’t know what to
Say when my brother finally
Jason M. Thornberry is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Chapman University. His work has appeared in The Stranger, Dissident Voice, Adirondack Review, In Parentheses, ALAN Review, Response, URB Magazine, and elsewhere. His work examines disability and social justice. Jason taught literature and writing at Seattle Pacific University.