Autoethnopathography: 4

9:15 PM (1 hour ago)

Today, without ceremony,

sans sentiment

I tore down the Hand of God


or at least started to anyway,

I left the frame

for another day,

another afternoon,


just cleaning up

an old mess I made

broken glass and the rust

of a yesteryear righteousness

the chicken wire

drawing blood

the hardware cloth

the nails

in a skeleton

of rotted wood

there in the Northwest corner

of my yard

which was,

years ago,

a beautiful place

and is still a beautiful place

though in a different way

a far more wretched way.

Today, without ceremony,

without a single photo,

I peeled away the splintering waves


I pushed the boat from where it sailed

atop the frame

and felt pleased

when it shuddered and cracked

upon hitting the ground

tearing a limb from the maple

as it fell, as it fell

a great feat


I pushed down

what I had once pushed up

and the children were just as delighted

to see it destroyed,

as they were when I raised it from the ground,

over my head,

and pushed, pushed,

up toward the sky.


“This is fun,” my son called,

as he smashed the boat apart

there on the muddy ground,

without ceremony.