Not Quite Like Son
Einstein's son is dead, who studied sediment,
God bless his courage. He knew more
about the way the water met the shore
or buckled off some derelict impediment
than anyone had known before.
His father's differential gaze almost, almost
undid the final lucid veil:
So we'll recall it till the yarn goes stale.
Would it have been the blazing focus of that Ghost,
too terrible to fade or fail?
Or pools of zero, like the little virtual o's
swirls breed in puddles at noonday,
that swarm, and freckle, and seem almost to play,
false pupils on wrinkled sand? How should we suppose,
who hardly know enough to say
how two skeins of meat can connect us to the sun?
Light crawls down sewers to the brain
but keeps a cleanliness that none explain.
He proved nothing, but brought, watery, trembling, one
frail field to almost total gain.
God bless his son, who shaped no legend for himself,
but made himself useful and gave
plain counsel on the sunken limestone cave,
the running wave rumpled on the continental shelf,
and the wave standing off the wave.
--Originally published in Poetry Northwest