Happy Poetry Thursday!
I don’t write much about my work at a college, but commencement is on Saturday. Today is the day the marketing department formats the commencement booklets. Specifically, we read all of the names of the graduates and check for misspellings and correct order. Can you say tedious? So I won’t be around much today. Hope you read your poems tonight.
Bear with me on this first draft.
I remember my father’s worst days.
His clumsy mythology crosses my mind
tonight like shadows on a cave wall.
My father, who grew up on Bank Street,
was an angry little heap. Went to school
with a layer of newspaper inside his holey shoes
the only thing separating him from the streets.
His knuckles rough like the back of a penny
from punching the brick wall behind his house.
Imagine the growl of hunger,
the fire of poverty. Can you even begin
to comprehend my father
watching his father dig a ham bone
out of the garbage to use in a soup
for that night’s dinner?
I should forget, as you have tried,
your sad, perennial stories
but they grow and bloom inside of me
that tight bud of sorrow
opening in me like a fist
over and over again.