The Poem

by Jeni Rall

His father had poetic aspirations. This is what my husband tells me now, his hand across his mouth, head bent. He dislikes the memory. I imagine the scene: a third shift postal worker comes to his son with a poem in his palm about mockingbirds and weeping. "Maybe he was trying to connect," I offer, but my husband shrugs as if he’s still that fifteen year old boy, afraid of the father who sleeps in daylight, embarrassed by silence broken with rhyme. "I remember it wasn’t very good," my husband says at last, "and I haven’t written a poem since."


Jeni Rall lives and writes in the sausage capitol of Texas.


Bob Jacobs said...

Nicely done, Jeni.

Quin said...

i came back to this, after thinking about it last night... how it captures that hint of embarrassment we feel towards a parent that doesn't fit into our idea of what a parent is.. and how that colours our lives.

Jp said...

This piece captures alot of my insecurities in one place-- awkwardness about your own parents, fear about what you'll be like as a parent, and the dread that your passion will look like idiocy in someone else's eyes. I don't like it, in the sense that thinking about those things is not pleasant, but this piece is very well crafted and remarkably powerful.

austere said...

It has that edge to it.