Tag Archives: fathers

Quiet as father’s love (#306)

she wears boots for the sound
you will know where I am
she closes her eyes
for every sunset
the wind has learned
not to ruffle her hair

On Saturdays
she wanders the farmer’s market
searching out ripe tomatoes
and interesting homemade jams
just a typical 20-something
in a floppy hat and Reeboks

by habit she skips every love song on Spotify
lyrics are lies
she still remembers her childhood lessons
on firm handshakes
she closes her eyes
for every sunrise

On Sundays
she avoids church
but she usually sits
in a hard chair by her window
watching the play of light and shadow
on the willow just outside
she knows the squirrels by sight
and how they shake the limbs without falling

and when she finally comes to see me
boots off
eyes open
to try to find who she is again
I don’t tell her what I think
or who I see
I am not her answer

the best I can give her
is my mother’s wisdom
passed down from winters
on a New England farm

“Sweetie, there’s lots of room in the sky.”

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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in new poetry


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(my father’s 65th birthday)

I soap my face
with anger
              long gone

the lather stings
reopening pores
with the oil of forgiveness

I need the cold water of truth
to splash them clean

finally refreshed
I wipe my face dry
but the lines of my bones
show my fingertips
the deepest scars

the ones
         I thought
                  I’d forgotten

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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


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You claim to have little will power,
But, Dad,
I could not be as strong as you.
Yes, you seem closer to death every day
But it takes strength
To keep chain smoking
Even though your coughs last longer than commercials.
It takes strength
To drink three beers an hour
To wash down the painkillers.
It takes strength
To get up and hobble down to the bar
From 1:30 to 4:00 every day
Though the doctors have told you to stay in bed.
You may say you have no will power,
But I could never be that strong.

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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in old discoveries


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From a father to his daughter

the fading scar of his heart
watches the green girlwood of her body
and he dreams of living in forests again

–to begin the journey
in the safety of the dark
and then gradually step out
into the speckled sunlight
–to feel life beneath his feet
life that will become trees and leaves
–to greet the morning mist as a friend

she is becoming a woman
with blossoms and thorns
choosing her own sunlight
starting to push the sky

he knows this and is happy
but the fading scar of his heart
doesn’t know
if he will ever feel
like a boy again

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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in old discoveries


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My father’s house

My father’s house was empty,
A quiet place of nothing
And seemingly no one.
Any sounds I might have made
Usually faded more quickly
Than the footprints I learned not to follow.
They lead nowhere special.
My father’s house
Was a place of blank white walls.
The emptiness drained the color from my eyes.
I finally learned I could leave.
So what to do now after the apology?
When anger and disdain
Have been your life’s helium
And they have drained away
With the real “I’m sorrys”
We do not expect to receive?
What is there left
To hold you up?
My father’s house is still empty,
A quiet place of nothing.
But I am old enough now
To have the color strong in my eyes
And I know that if I make sounds
They will not fade away.
Do I still choose to leave?

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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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