The Heavy Weight of Light
Joel Ferdon

My dad and I would drive San Timoteo Canyon
as if the walls of color were chasing us.
He would shift into fifth and risk
the California ticket from hell
just to get the smell of citrus
on the wind moving
through the cabin of his small Ford Ranger
and into the hair and memory
of me, his youngest son.

On the other side
of the orange grove
spanned miles of light  
into a field of yellow
pushed up against the orange.

On occasion we’d pull off
to be among the flowers
of the river valley.
The sunflowers fanned 
against the feverish sun.

I, on top of his shoulders,
sweat dripping from eyelash to nose,
would cock my head
wondering if color
was always the resonate sound
of light hitting these flowers
and arduous groves,

or if the heavy weight of light
pouncing off of my eyes
showed father and son immersed
together in the same moment,
neither feeling, for once, 
as if the river valley
were going to flood.

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