Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Father

The Amorer's Daughter by Debora Gregor

My father is a hard man.
When my mother couldn't give him a son,
he made the best of it; that is,
he made me into what was missing.
So I polish a breastplate until
my smudged face is reflected blue-black
and my arm is stiff as a gauntlet.

I have my father's stubborn jaw
they tell me, those boys from the village
who tease, envious of my lot.
The roughened men who come for a mending, 
who bring their smooth sons to be measured, 
say I have his hands, too wide for a woman.
Then I think of the beetle on the stoop
whose shell shamed the finest armour.
It scuttled away when I reached down.
With his hand.

I am and I am not him.
Give me the dusty wings of the moths
that dared spend the night on his workbench
and I would fly ...where?
Out to the hill with the shepherd?
To the mill where the miller's son
is clouded in the finest-ground flour?

This wool-gathering angers my father.
He pounds music from metal, 
a chorus of glow and chill, bend and stay.
I drop a helmet with carelessness
I barely recognize and run into the yard,
into the road, tripping on my skirts.
Late afternoon, after a rain, already
the sun's low flame lights the edges
of everything.  This world shines,
rings and shines, like his dream of heaven.

It has been 9+ years since my father went to the sweet, deep sleep some call death. His presence is still felt every time I look in the mirror or when one of us four girls do something so much like he would have done it.  When I see a new, hot car or an old classic, refurbished well, I think of him.  Horses and dogs remind me of his influence in our lives. As long as time lasts he will be with me because of memories...

And to the three men in our family...Sherwin and our sons, Shelby and Alan, I am wishing you all good memories of this day with your families.  

Hope this day was memorable in some way to you all.

No comments:

Post a Comment