John Amen

We spent the summer
playing whiffle ball in the old potter’s field.
Every few days, a father set the weeds on fire,
fathers who used a loud voice & stony hands
to teach you the value of gratitude.
For bases & home plate,
we gathered broken birds & sharp objects,
filler that smelled bad & drew blood.
We played late, the oaks
heavy with starlight, bushes teeming with fireflies.
One morning we emerged from our shotgun row,
field still smoking from the previous night’s blaze,
odor of gasoline hovering.
The town griever was dead,
slumped under a red maple by the rectory.
I agreed not to tell.
I agreed not to scream in my sleep.
We pinched the dead griever’s lips,
we pulled his penis out of his pants.
Next day, the corpse was gone,
the field marked off wit