Elegy for a Broken Machine by Patrick Phillips

The Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor

My father was trying
to fix something

and I sat there just watching,
like I used to,
whenever something

went wrong.
I kept asking where he’d been,
until he put down a wrench
and said Listen:
dying’s just something

that happens sometimes.
Who knows
where that kind of dream comes from?
Why some things

vanish, and some
just keep going forever?

Like that look on his face
when he’d stare off at something

I could never make out
in the murky garage,
his ear pressed
to whatever it was
that had died—
his eyes listening for something

so deep inside it, I thought
even the silence,
if you listened,
meant something.

Thursday, September 14, 2017