I have never heard my fatherís voice.

I have seen the mountains
he watched as a boy
the birds there

how they stitch together the air
and waited for some pulse or contraction

some gesture of the sky
that would bind me

but heard only my own voice
singing to my father
where he sleeps

in the shadow of old hills

and flocks of geese leading the cold
across prairie grass waiting for snow.

I think of all this
one morning, listening at the window

how I learn again from my old strawberry tree

to dress for winter
in a thousand white bells.

David Martin Olson is a writer and photographer from Sacramento. His poetry has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Greensboro Review, Tiger's Eye and Tule Review, among other publications. His photography has been published in USA Today, the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle, exhibited at Space 13, Camera Arts and the Viewpoint Gallery, and has been honored by the Coastal Art League and the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761