How could he come
humpbacked
in his crisp undershirt
on the front porch in black Detroit
bringing in the milk,
the newspaper, the bills
long past noon? His truck howls
all night to Benton Harbor, Saginaw,
Dog of the Prairie.
In the high work camps
the men break toward dawn.
He sleeps under a mountain.
Uncle, I call you again Uncle,
I come too late
with a bottle of milk
and a chipped cup of Schnapps
to loosen your fever, undo
your arms and legs
so you can rise
above Belle Isle and the Straits,
your clear eye
rid of our rooms forever,
the glass of fat, the blue flame.