My father drove us around in a Ď64 Ford.
We passed the line where the busted Ohio
Had peaked in the flood of Ď37,
And he told us how his mother nailed
Her bed to the second story wall,
So she could sleep above the rising flow.
We imagined panic-driven hammer work.
We saw furniture as a flooded roomís wallpaper.

He told us how Speedy, an embalmed corpse
Whose preservation was on display
At a funeral home, had washed away
Without notice. He was pronounced dead
Again after the water receded
And they found his body alone on Broadway.
He must always be alive, we thought.
You donít call a dead man Speedy.

The Fordís radio crawled through stations,
Static to ragtime, then to a ballgame.
My father told us these were live feeds from the past.
Each crack of bat to ball was ancient
And each downbeat fell from the foot of a living ghost.
He told us that time was relative,
And decades didnít matter to his radio.
It must all be relative, we thought.

My dad had it down like Einstein.
Years were relative like radio dials.
From the backseat, the waters, the bodies,
And the stories rose, appearing through the windows
As timeline leaping, fleeting scenes.
We learned how to sleep without drowning
By rolling on surges and slides of time,
And saw death as no reason to believe in dying.

Matthew Little is a Kentucky native and now lives in San Marcos, TX where he is an MFA candidate at Texas State University (matthewlittlemail@yahoo.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761