Bob Hicok

The gift

My wife gave me a tie made of the thread
of life. I was afraid to wear a tie
made of the thread of life. That it would snag.
That I’d spill coffee on it. But I wore it,
and every person who looked at it
saw something different. One
a waterfall, one a lava flow, one a forest
primeval. Coming home, I took it off
and forgot it on the bus. When I told
my wife, she laughed and said,
did you really think I’d give you a tie
made of the thread of life? That was a tie
made of silk, which is the memory
of cocoons, which are wombs, you were wearing
birth. I told her her thoughts
are the happy childhood I didn’t have.
The sun was in her hair, where it stayed
until she combed it out that night.