Calendar Plans

For Geoffrey

In the living room, a standoff – a deadlock 

between right and wrong side of the law. 


A boy bellies forward, holster and chaps, 

motions invisible troops; his silver gun drawn, 


waving in the morning sun as if to cut a map through 

ranges unknown: cushions from a worn sofa, sheer cliffs 


that fold, collapse, take their toll; his brother content 

in a sheriff’s badge removable for a change of roles. 


How our memories tell us what we cannot know. How 

in retrospect, days and months, our calendar plans 


were a grace. How stars on straw costume cowboy hats

return like figures of forgotten clashes, traces of a 


shimmering now: a new uniform, new boots, new hat, 

new vows; occasion for the saints to be called by name. 


St. Michael, patron of the airborne, stay with my boy 

tonight, tomorrow, all the days. Know the two disparate 


tones beneath a skein of geese – their flight so fixed, 

resolved – when a mother prays, and when a mother calls.




.

Copyright © 2022  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Published in Relief, Spring 2022.

amber-214x154_edited.jpg
bce.jpg