What we thought we chose

Dear father, I walked to the back gate this morning
     to unlock it, and saw nearly a third of the service road
           submerged in water. Someone had put an orange cone near
it, sometime in the night when the heaviest rain was falling.
     Almost noon, and the sun's finally out; and so perhaps
           the road can dry before the next predicted burst of wet

weather. The corkscrew willow never had a chance; it died
     and its spirals rest hollow against the fence. I want
           to know: who decides which role one gets to play here?
Giver of warnings, straightener of crooked lines; stacker,
     mender, server. Long ago, you took me to the Indian bazaar
           on Session Road and let me pick out my first wristwatch.

You pointed out a round-faced Timex that could be wound, but
    I only had eyes for something with a cheap blue plastic band.
  

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