Father’s Day 2020



Art by Mike Worrall

Jim Moore

Little Sainthood

On one of my good days
you could tell I lived happily here, inside
the all of it.
You could tell all was stilled,
calm as the warm hand
of my father in those few moments
after he died thirty years ago.

You could tell it was easy for me,
on certain days, to be the oldest one
still breathing in the family.
On one of my good days
the chipped light that haloes
in the early Renaissance paintings
gather to themselves sheltered me
and I’d think of the end
of both happiness and sadness,
how they must surely collide
in that little moment
before the final one.
The saints’ haloes mean beauty
and death have made–
against all odds–
a life together. In this sense
we all have our moments
of little sainthood, riding home
in the back seat of the car at age seven,
someone we love
in spite of everything
at the wheel, and a sky
with new darkness pulling down
its curtain over the long double row
of  elms, still unsickened
the way they were sixty years ago,
pulling it down easily.

None of this is to imply that life–
in all its thousand wrinkled leaves–
will not go on and on
after someone leaves, having been given,
on one of his good days,
the all of it.

Andrea Potos

My Father, Recovering from Brain Injury

People nod and smile,
then move on, I sense
they assume, at 85,
he’s had his share of life,
what’s the deal, why expect
or ask for more?
I can’t explain how the hair
returning to my father’s scalp
is like a sky filling with silver lightning,
that my father is large enough to contain
Whitman’s multitudes—
a man of flesh and myth,
and that, in the labyrinth of my life,
he has been both the minotaur
and the one who has rescued with the thread. 

[previously published in An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry)]

Brian Rihlmann

Just Big Enough for a Seed
 
talking to my old man on the phone
and he says, again—
how mom and I got all the smarts
and he’s the dummy of the family
 
“There’s different kinds of smarts, Dad”
I say, and that’s as far as I get
before he bounces the conversation
in an entirely different direction
 
but now…as I think back on it…
I want a do-over—I want to return
to that moment, and ask him—
“Who taught you to do that?”
 
and he’d ask what I meant—
“Calling yourself a dummy.”
I can hear his mind freeze
through the silence on the line
 
as he ponders the answer to a question
no one’s ever thought to ask him before
and maybe that—would be enough
to shatter it, or leave the tiniest crack

 

Father’s Day 2019

Father’s Day 2018

Father’s Day 2017