[ Issue 7 / November 2013]

That year I drove back and forth
from my parents’ house to my house

from changing my father’s diapers
to toilet training my daughter.

It was the year of the bathroom
snapping on underpants/diapers

or celebrating pee-pee victories
my daughter no longer afraid she would fall in

be flushed down the toilet as she
had watched her golden pee be flushed away.

It was the year of poop and pee or shit and piss,
how we become human or lose our humanity:

the angry dementia mind, frantic
when it can’t control its fluids

or the ecstatic, popsicle-victory joy
of peeing perfectly on a porcelain throne.

I shifted gears across the island feeling
throned and de-throned; ahead the years

of ghost stories and watching a ghost slip past me,
the road winding through pines and leather ferns.

John Davis is the author of Gigs (Sol Books) and The Reservist (Pudding House Press.) His work has appeared recently in Cider Press Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, The North American Review and Rio Grande Review.