Admiring My Father

by Thomas R. Smith


T.R. Smith


This poem appears in Thomas R. Smith's latest book, The Dark Indigo Current
The Dark Indigo Current book cover
Holy Cow! Press
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I was at an age when everything he did
fascinated me, was by definition admirable. I'd have grabbed the cigar from between his teeth
if he'd let me, and insisted on pressing the purring
head of his razor to my cheek. Half-
approving, he'd hand over his men's magazines—
Cavalier or Argosy—missing certain glossy pages.

He's gone now, though luckily my mother
snapped him slouched on the davenport
holding me astraddle his waist. I lean into
his face, no more than two inches separating us,
tiny hands gripping his jaw. My expression
is enthusiasm for everything ebout him—
his look says he knows it's the best I'll ever

give him. When in unsuspecting moments
life washes up to my feet something
he preferred—a color, flavor or song—
in the absence of clear memory I think
of that photo and of those times when I rode
high and happy, the ropes secure,
the wind filling my sails, and he was the future.

I steered toward him willingly, I don't know yet
whether I've reached his shore, though
his resemblance grows on me year by year.
When the midnight sun of my generation rose,
I threw him down in pieces, but now
the old antagonisms drop away
and I'm flooded again with the power of loving him.

       © 1997 by Thomas R. Smith

This poem first appeared in the anthology Essential Love (ed. Giny Lowe Conners)(Poetworks/Grayson Books 2000)

Hear MP3 WebCasts from a reading by Robert Bly and Thomas R. Smith, editor of the first United States anthology of Alden Nowlan's poems, When He Went to the Store for a Loaf of Bread.

Other Poems by Thomas R. Smith

This appeared in:
The Dark Indigo Current
Holy Cow! Press
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Affectionate Witness, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Boy Who Crawled, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Reply, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

The Road to Kenora, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

Admiring My Father, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

This appeared in:
Horse of Earth book cover
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My Father Promised Me a Sword, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

The Cruel One, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Come In from the Rain!, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem originally appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Late for Thanksgiving Dinner, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.


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