Old Daniel was a riverboat rambler, unseeded
with money, unlucky in love and unbreeded to marry,
but gambler extraordinary until schemes busted;
poisoned in the extremes by backroom fables,
Black Labels, marked cards, and round tables.
He was baptized under the down spout of Old Man,
a plan that only a Maker could understand, and
now he bathes feet in the Hyatt’s fountain,
become holy and highest, grace in the manner
of the banner hanging pensively nearby it.
Rembrandt through fractured glass, a glimpse
of the past that ones sees after sight leaves;
a disarming vision that drags the divine
to the brink of heaven, then weaves itself into
a hell of its own advising. Perfectly charming.
Old Man’s rhyme of time and place
filtered through a lace of white lattice work,
sprang from a surf of pink roses and
broke upon a slope of brown earth, then
rushed over Daniel with toxic fragrance.
His father who is the water, Old Man,
who’s shore reaches to swallow more
than Daniel can know, who buries Daniel’s history
under a flood of human mud, listens to the son
singing, drifting downriver on his rippled floor.