“this one just didn’t look right…”

Thinking of my Dad, and a conversation we had yesterday - while he was adjusting stones in a waterfall he’s building...

Rudy Thomas

Body Man

My father does not like
to read poetry
does not know
he has written his own verse
with a ball peen hammer,
banging rockerpanels and crumpled fenders
until he edits the flaws.
He does not realize
that I use his works
to judge my own.
He is master of perfection
I parody.

           Appalachia Inside Out, Volume 2:
           Culture and Custom
, Robert Higgs,
           Ambrose Manning & Jim Wayne Miller, eds.


And my own Father/Son poem...

Saving Hands

My father never kissed me,
but he bloodied his hand once,
running it through an electric fan
to save mine. It left a scar.

My father never kissed me,
but he taught me how to hoe corn,
how to keep my fingers from cramping.
And he was happy.

My father never kissed me,
but he pulled from my hand a tenpenny nail
that had glanced from the hammer
while we were building a room.

I’ve kissed my son. I have,
but I’ve never saved his hand.

      (published in Muse of Fire and Necessary Motions)


Anonymous said...

so, so powerful sam.
what wonder is man, are men?

poet with a day job said...

the way "body man" (which is fantastic) is written reminds me of a Szymborska poem "In praise of my sister" - the way the non poet is poetic by the nature of fully being the self.

LKD said...

Your poem makes me miss my father even more keenly. The anniversary of his death looms over me at this time of year. I forget the exact date until it is upon me.

Thank you for sharing your poem, Sam.

It makes me wish I'd kissed my father .

Dick said...

Excellent - simple, direct & powerful.

SarahJane said...

both excellent poems, sam.

Liz said...

Sam, these poems just go to the core...I found them at just the right moment...thanks.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks to all for the read. Appreciated.

Clare said...

Sam, your poem is wonderful. Today happens to be the two month anniversary of my father's death, and reading your words for your father has been a treasure.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I can appreciate that connection. Thanks for the read and comment, Clare.

Nick said...

Thanks for these, Sam!