Everything Rides On A Rock by Parker Tettleton

 

 

 

Everything Rides On A Rock

I

The miracle of ice is leftover
for a Christmas in July.

Rudy Baker and his black lab Sam
spend all day down at the creek,

one tossing rocks into the water
while the other attempts retrieval

and the trout dart upstream,
as if they are part of the game.

II

Off to college one early August day,
Rudy loses sight of the station.

He turns to his neighbor on the train:
“Does our conductor read the Bible?”

“Heaven isn’t reserved for the best drivers,” neighbor says.
Rudy lights his last cigarette.

Sam’s nuzzling the screen door
back on his family’s front porch.

III

In early December, Rudy’s roommate says
“Christmas is a soft pair of legs

that stay open day or night.”
Rudy walks his eyes up the cement walls.

“Christmas is a stream
where everything rides on a rock,” slips off his lips.

The next day Rudy’s parents send him
a coat the color of Sam’s cross.

 

 Parker Tettleton

 

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