My Mother Asks My Father to Sell His MotorcycleBy D. Gilson
July 14, 2012
It is legend: my father left Vietnam
for Okinawa, for the air base where
Medical Corps doctors performed
a vasectomy. Fifteen years later,
in a sleepy Missouri bedroom painted
hydrangea, wrapped and unwrapped
in blankets akin to neon asparagus,
my father makes love to my mother.
And according to legend: I ignite.
No, this is not a miracle, not even
a modest one. When I am born,
my mother asks my father to sell
his Harley Davidson. But had I not
erupted from raging fire, the thing
that makes a legend, my father could
journey on with nothing but daughters,
my mother, a motorcycle. Without me,
without the gravity of having a son.
I think the word asparagus grabbed me at first.
And then vasectomy.
Lovely: on so many levels!
“Painted hydrangea” got me. A fitting and lovely image in an all-around lovely poem.