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Fathers of Only Children

Fathers of Only Children

After all the encores at Tanglewood,

the only music left is September’s song

of crickets scraping their legs for mates,

my daughter gone again for med school

in Boston, my only relief an aimless

mountain bike ride down packed dirt roads,

looping home at dusk to find my neighbor

in his field next door, kicking up dust

with his new pickup, radio blasting,

making his own loops around the sweet

corn patch his son left standing before

going back to college. When he spots me

and speeds over, we crack two beers,

eager to talk cover crops and compare

notes on what we coaxed from our heavy

clay, the sky streaked red, twilight concealing

our tears, two dazed and lonely fathers

struggling to make sense of our season.

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