Laying Sod

for Dad


This is something your father

would have never done—

and especially his father.

We’ve all heard

stories about beating

the yard with brooms

until nothing would

root there.  

You’ve told

me yourself how you

and your brothers

would take turns slapping

the dusty ground to

keep it bare,

to keep the snakes away.

Has so much changed

that I would find myself

here like a praying man

down on both knees—one bare

and brown?

Grabbing these green

patches and sliding

one against another,

laying them out like stories

of the past.


Barry Dunlap

The Adirondack Review
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
BARRY DUNLAP enjoys a good book, ice cream and sports (not in any particular order).  He earned his M.A. at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he studied under Tim Gautreaux.  Barry lives in Walker, LA with his wife and four children.