Rita Dove

from Vol. 16, No. 3 (Summer 1993)

Fatal April

Thomas Sayers Ellis

The phone rang. It was Doris,
Your sister, calling to say
April had taken you, where,
In your bedroom, when, days ago,
How, murder, no, a stroke.

You left a car (but I
Don't drive) and enough cash
In your pockets to buy
A one-way train ticket
From Boston to Washington.

Let's get one thing straight.
I didn't take the money, but
I did take your Driver's License
And the Chuck Brown album,
Needle to groove,

Round and round,
Where they found you.
Both were metaphors.
The license I promised, but knew
I'd never get--now I have yours

And the album because
Of what you may have been
Trying to say about writing,
About home. James keeps
Asking me to visit your grave,

When will I learn to drive
And why I changed my name.
He's your son, stubborn with
An inherited temper. I keep telling him
No, never, there's more than

One way to bury a man.


Poems by Thomas Sayers Ellis
A Kiss in the Dark | Fatal April

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