Truth or Consequences was all consequence.
Tweet birds waited with apprehensive song
on the line. My father called them fat asses
and made them popcorn every day.
Isabella, not yet two, walked with me
hand in hand down Caballo road
collecting heart-shaped rocks
while he slept, and slept and slept.
We caught glimpses of the river.
My dad used to toss a fishing line in it
and wait around real cool with his cigarette.
It wasn’t much more than mud now.
My dad was dying. Two days before
we inhaled his last breath,
a blue electric day called on the angels.
The open clarity of my New Mexican sky,
a big door sucking us through.
Swigging a little last booze, we slipped
him into his darkest shades, wrapped him
in a blanket threaded with turquoise yarn.
He sat in the borrowed wheelchair whispering
in the warm, warm sun. I wanted to give him
another season then, many, many more.
I think he liked the sing-song of the birds,
the echo of their wings as they’d startle off
of the sheet metal fence he’d made.
I bet he thought, it’s probably time to go—
It’s almost Spring.
Amanda Chiado is an MFA graduate of California College of the Arts. Her work can be found in Best New Poets, Forklift, Ohio, Fence, Witness and others. She is currently shopping her first poetry manuscript Monsters, Superheroes, Bimbos and Other Fast Food. She works in Hollister, CA as a California Poet in the Schools and Preschool Teacher.