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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Black Olives



The bent lamp contemplates fire, its light
is louder than emergency.
What in the world, in this house,

can make him his father.  Are coffee stains
on a V-neck tee-shirt equated with perseverance?

Is the sharp fetor of Skoal lingering in the toolshed
instilling in him a work ethic, or instructing him
how to use slip knots to secure plywood
to the roof of a foreign car?

There were days when he would swear
avocados and black olives would strengthen skin,
deepen the simian creases

in his palms.  There is a generational pride
in rough hands, even for the son

who dreads the shovel and the word
chassis scares him to death:  Son,
                        what the hell are you

doing in there?            Writing
a poem, cursing

that red wheel barrow,
shit depends on it.  Right now

so much more depends
on how the son
answers the father,

even as an electric heat
fills the room.

1 comment:

  1. ha. nice hit on the red wheelbarrow...much the same in my relationship to my dad...he is very hands on building working on cars and it just did not click with me....reading/writing..still there is much to learn....

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