the old man sits in his studio
sunlight pouring in from that high window
singing of Yellow Submarines and Yesterdays
sometimes turning to his piano
to play chords of faraways
occasionally remembering me.
and when he does, I creak out
the engineer works in his laboratory
"Please don't touch; please don't disturb."
But it's OK -- all men must be busy sometime
so I and my sister build our own in the room across
out of legos, blankets, books and barbie dolls.
and once in a while, he remembers his apprentice
and he teaches me his secret alchemies.
but apprentices -- ambitious ones especially --
err occasionally, you see
by discovering too far.
it's still /his/ house,
even if mom did build it;
so the sheriff stares the suspect down
and sends the intruder off
to a prison of a cellar.
the furious bartender serves himself another
amidst the broken glass and plates;
and when he leaves, the old man looks at me
as if to ask, "Why did you betray me?"
but this ten-year-old never betrayed his father
for you see, he never had one.
He looks away; and climbs into a Ford Windstar
riding off into the fall sunset.