Maple Key

I have spoken poorly of my father 
At bars, in bed with strangers, to a new
Friend french braiding my hair. He’s coauthor
Of my own infidelities, bijou
Bruise on a muscle I forgot I had
Until it sprained. I have often told, for laughs,
(which laughter would hurt him most) of his bad
Behavior. Remembered one girlfriend’s half-
Wolf dog, metal tongues of a mistress’s 
Roller organ, how my friend, her son,
Smashed his head against the windshield glass’s 
Blue slope, waiting for them to be done.
If he was here (Hi Dad!) I’d say: you’ll die
Someday. Drift, maple key. Unbend, mayfly. 

H.R. Webster has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, and the Fine Arts Work Center, where she is the 2021-2022 returning poet. Her work has appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Poetry, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, 32Poems, Muzzle, and Ecotone. Her collection, What Follows, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in Spring 2022. Poems etc. at hrwebster.com.