Ode to my Father

By DENISE DUHAMEL

 

Man who gave all the benefit of the doubt,
man of beer and doughnuts, man of wieners and maple syrup,
sweet-toothed man, man of the one-liner,
man of drum sets and baseball bats and other boys’ toys
he bought his daughters so that he would know
how to play with them, man of raked leaves and pipe smoke,
man of white tee shirts and Brut,
straight man with little patience for irony,
man of limericks and ditties, man of Lime Rickeys,
man with cookies for grandchildren, uncomplicated man,
man of honest answers, man of neat drawers and Canadian coins,
man too young for World War II, man who served
before Korea, man of local politics
and Tex Ritter, man of rocking chair and Jumble word game,
man of discipline. How strange I must have seemed to you—
girl child rebel, fighting with mom, sobbing
and hanging up on a boyfriend, and when the phone rang
screaming, “Don’t pick it up!” Man of the Great Depression,
man of cold water flats where heat was a sin,
man who didn’t believe in shampoo if he had soap,
man of Lent, man of Zen, man who, before New Agers,
said people did what they thought was best at the time,
man of two languages, man of English at work,
man of French at home, man of rosaries and Benny Hill,
man of patience, man of routine,
man of suppers at 5 o’clock, man of walks around the block.

 

 

Denise Duhamel is the author, most recently, of Blowout and Ka-Ching!

[Purchase your copy of Issue 05 here]

Ode to my Father

Related Posts

sunset and forest trees

Hummingbird Tantra

CORRIE WILLIAMSON
Red draws their tiny eye, and every hummingbird / feeder you can buy blooms a plastic, stoic / ruby, effigy of flower, tadasana of red. Already / they have eaten me out of sugar, but forgetful today / I’ve left the sliding porch door wide, and on my couch / a cheery wool blanket...

Headshot of J.D.

Side Mirror

J.D. SCRIMGEOUR
You’re floundering in flashes of light and dark, / so after a few minutes you scoot inside / because January’s cold, and ask your wife for help, / embarrassed you can’t do even this simple task. / She peers over her glasses, studies the tape, / then returns it unstuck, separated...

image of lynn thompson

A Rage on Berbice, 1763

LYNNE THOMPSON
Before I was north and south of a new country / I was divided from    I was a tactic      I was / a slave-trading port / Before I was remade as Amerindian / I was sugar as the main crop / Before I was overworked and underfed / I was selected for immediate punishment