I’m riveted to the swaying
platform of the lookout above
the Galien River in the county park
off Red Arrow Highway in Michigan.
No more than a pillar of support beneath me—
an amusement park ride.
I’ve got height-fright. Torn between wanting
to claim with my eyes the river snaking
The clock reads 3:18 a.m. 4:44. I lie there.
Read reviews on my phone. Order safety rails online—
just in case my father will need them.
He wants to go away.
Gaze out different windows. Call it a vacation.
The data says at 99 he has less than one percent
chance of reaching 100. He tells everyone
I want to make it.
My father tries to step with the hustle
of a roadrunner in a body that says, hey, wait.
Even with his rollator, he looks like he’s doing
the 50-yard dash.
Ahead of me, the red-winged blackbird taunts
from its railing perch.
A fan of the whitest tail feathers unfolds
from a branch. An angelic ascension
without a name.
I want to remember these things.
Who among us will outlive.
The odds read that I will live
more than eight years.
I have no urge to make
a finish-line declaration.
Before lifting in tandem, the mating dragonflies
wheel round on the boardwalk
in their frenzy of heat.
The mallards bob and whirl
in their own watery planet.
I want to remember them—these, the resilient.