Darryl Sleeps Through The Best Sunrise I’ve Ever Seen

for Darryl Breaux, 1972-2011

Lafitte is socked in by orange fog.
Sunrise surrounds us, a pink I can taste,
a someone-call-9-1-1 red:
the sky has cracked open its head and is bleeding.

Like Darryl does, years after I move away,
after he takes two pills for asthma
and falls asleep while driving.

But the morning of the best sunrise I’ve ever seen, he lives.
On this rosy dawn, earth turns over
on a vat of purple grapes for making wine
and Darryl sleeps in a shotgun shack along a brackish bayou
where the unhurried channel tide
brought us sleek, blue catfish for supper.

That morning as Darryl sleeps, I drive past the docks
where tired fishermen will give up their catch,
and I reach forward to turn up loud
a song about being too young,
too dumb to know what you have to lose.


Lynn Marie Houston