I'm changing the oil in my Focus
on the cracked driveway
when my son's plastic ball lands
in the garden. Retrieving it,
I brush past lavender. Dizzy
with purple scent, I crawl back under.
My son writes loot on my toolbox.
He thinks I can fix anything.
What's true: when the wind is right
I smell him blooming.
Jim Daniels' next books of poems, Rowing Inland, Wayne State University Press, and Street Calligraphy, Steel Toe Books, will both be published in 2017. His previous book, Birth Marks, was the recipient of the Milton Kessler Poetry Book Award, and the Gold Medal in Poetry in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. His fifth book of short fiction, Eight Mile High, was published by Michigan State University Press in 2014 and was selected as a Michigan Notable Book and was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize. "The End of Blessings," the fourth short film he has written and produced, is currently making the rounds of film festivals, and his poems and the photographs of Charlee Brodsky were displayed in their show, "Beyond the Obvious," at the Robert Morris University Art Gallery last year. His poems have been featured on "Prairie Home Companion," Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac," in Billy Collins' Poetry 180 anthologies, and Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry" series. His poem "Factory Love" is displayed on the roof of a racecar. A native of Detroit, Daniels is a graduate of Alma College and Bowling Green State University. He is the Thomas Stockham University Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.