The Tunnel

Michael Fried

To be nothing but fire
not even the fuel that feeds it

wasn’t my father’s style.
When the time came for him to die

(of a cirrhotic liver
caused by poisoned blood

flushed through him one winter dawn
to fight a bleeding ulcer)

he found a stone wall
with, at its base, a tunnel

just too narrow to admit
a man. Undaunted he crawled through

hand over hand
to the other side.