A rewrite from 2015. One of a series of 4 that I will repost in memory of my father's anniversary of his passing this month and reminded by Bibek's poem. My father was neither good nor bad, just himself!

Saturdays With Father 1

My father and I walking down the crooked street
Another year, someone new.
Saturdays my day with him,
his one day free--
no one else to watch me, I guess

Mother at the phone company
My brother standing
on the gray factory floor.

Each Saturday
before and after the death of my brother,
before and after the ring was buried,
when I was a child before speech
and then at the time of language.

And then after that, when I became
what would be called an elective mute
for some years: speechless,
I would spend Saturdays with my father,
Until the day my mother died, when I was ten.

My father and I, larger than life
we lumber through the streets.
Loverboy and his weird sidekick.
Objectively, he is handsome,
no one can take that from him.

Black hair, green eyes,
and such bravado__
his drinking mouth, his two bits of charm,
his jaunty full-of-shit crank
crackpot schemes in those early years
when there were still schemes.

In the years before my brother's death.
Get-rich-quick horse and dog-racing tricks,
idiotic lotteries and fast exchanges,
petty crimes and payoffs and extortion.

He is confident
having been buoyed up once more,
shored up by the absurd parade of women
who lavish everything they have on him.

He is handsome, in a decadent, ruined way--
grant him that.
It is his one inheritance. His one free ticket
in a world that exacted a great price from him.

For Christ's sake, even I grant him that--
that free fall, that free ride.
Soon even it will pass, masked by despair.

Poetry by Ashe
Read 357 times
Written on 2018-06-05 at 20:20

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Reminds me of Robert Hayden's Those Winter Sundays. A just poem. A fine poem. Unlike mine, which is suffused with hatred and malignancy, yours is a gentle one, an objective one. I like it very much.


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Excellent. Your poems about your father, mother and brother have wonderful intensity. Because they're true?

chuma okafor
The affinity/father - daughter fixation, is succinctly captured in this one. And laced with family love. Beautifully written