Bucket-plumbed drafty old shack
close by the river, alcoholic,
beating his wife’s teeth out, she
got mistaken for his mother;
could cook shore dinner for eight
easily, pickerel and spuds sputtering,
coffee boiling, beans bubbling, hands
passing deftly in and out of the flames.
His death the artless violence of his
life, a daftly gentle dismantling,
drunk insensate in a cedar boat
adrift on moonlight’s current, unfelt
quickening, then gulp down Recollet Falls.