Heinsberg’s Theory Of Father by Bonnie Carasso

You were everything,

acted like everything.

You were a particle

and, once I could walk, a wave.

I never knew where I’d see you, even

after Mom discovered you that time in

Kansas City, circa 1975, and made you

alter your trajectory to meet us for a meal.

The uncertainty was always mine—when,

where you’d show up after that, who, what

you’d pretend to be, just how you’d change

when observed, no matter my relation to you.

I tried to know you, meet you again, talk to you

on my terms, before a semester in college taught me 

that you could never simultaneously be known

in time and place, no matter how much energy

I exerted. And so you died that year,

unobserved and unobservable, no longer

a force, but a father in theory alone, cleaving

without substance to your natural state.