My father has a brain tumor.
He lives in an apartment in Pontiac,
building houses out of pieces of driftwood
he found on Lake Michigan one summer,
back when he was a trucker, back when
they hadn’t yet to diagnose him with
back when he thought he had more time.
His mind is somewhere else-on his mother,
God rest her soul; on the blue truck in
the parking lot, that sits and rusts; and on
the train that whizzes by on train tracks
down the street, near the old train depot
that was closed down.
Everything is closing down in Michigan;
from the stores; to the banks; to the flower shop.
No one wants to live here anymore.
No one wants to be the one to tell their grandchildren
they failed at peace, that they failed at everything.
They give each other questioning looks, "Who’s going
to tell them we failed first?"