Slip away

by Gerald McCarthy

Sorry, it becomes a kind of chant
if you say it over
& over again.

I’m sorry, sorry —
& only sorrow comes
waiting at the weathered gray door,

a barn door, opening into
the brown fields of fall
your grandfather calls —

everything’s a dream
& then he’s gone, rising
like some giant winged bird

above the still fields
& sorry is not just a word any longer —
it becomes a part of you

like a gnarled iron root
& only the song — growing
slip away, slip away.