I SAW MY FATHER

I saw my father this morning.
It caught me off guard,
without warning, without any
precognition. The man’s been dead.

Over ten years gone, and though
I long for one moment more,
it underscores my dilemma.
I saw my father this morning.

His craggy morning beard
clearly heard when he’d scratch his chin.
Internal debate whether to shave it,
or save it another day, who’s to say?

The wrinkles around his eyes
that grew greater when pater smiled.
He had a great smile, and while he was alive
would strive to flash it at every turn.

I’d learn his way and his charm came
along with his name, my grandfather
bore both, so I am told. Too old
to remember him, but dad was clear.

I saw my father this morning.
He of the wise old face and cleft chin,
he of the exuberant grin, carpenter hands
the texture of leather caused by weather and life.

Hard knocks smart, an old fart with humor
and the aplomb to use it, sometimes abuse it
along with us and my mother. A man of another
time and age, sage with advice and super nice

when the smoky brown bottle stayed away.
Not to say it was right, but it might explain
some of his apparent flaws. It gnaws at me.
I saw my father this morning.

The man’s been dead, that has been said.
But as I look in the mirror and scratch my craggy chin
in debate and count my crow’s feet framed eyes, I have to smile.
I saw my father this morning. I see him every morning.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 13: Family

 

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