by Lucien Darjeun Meadows

Each time the phone rings I imagine
It will be Father on break from some job
Or traveling to one in the blue truck
That seems as much a part of him
As his long hair or faded jeans

And I will say Hi Agidoda how’s it going
And in a voice I barely remember he will say
Working the mines in Mon County again
Where the mountains gave me your name

One of us sits alone at night picking
Mountains out from under his fingernails
And one of us remembers walking all day
To the highest peak in the holler
And both of us have found our eyes
In the hands of the river
And brought them home again for awhile

And I will say without saying I stand
In front of the mirror each night Agidoda
Searching for you in my own face
Because I am almost the age you were when—

Quiet for a minute then he will say
Something about how trees keep standing
Because they know when to bend
Or something about how the New River
We almost jumped into all those years ago
Is the oldest in America and hey Bridge Day
Is next month so nihi want to go with me

And I will say something about how
I still dream of him trapped in a mine
Because that was the only reason
I could imagine why he would disappear
And these fall days are getting shorter
But you know I can still remember spring
Which means yes Father yes Agidoda yes.

LUCIEN DARJEUN MEADOWS was born in Virginia and raised in West Virginia. His poetry has appeared in West BranchShenandoahPleiadesNarrative, and Beloit Poetry Journal. An AWP Intro Journals Project winner and PhD student at the University of Denver, he has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and awards from the Academy of American Poets, American Alliance of Museums, and Bread Loaf Conferences.