Affectionate Witness

by Thomas R. Smith

This poem appears in Vol. 1 #1 (Winter 1998) of Men's Voices journal.
 Men's Voices: So men can find their voices and speak their truths


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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My father on birthdays

phoned faithfully

to recall that arctic

January morning he drove

my mother to the hospital;

"We had a new

forty-seven Chevy.

It was fifty below, and

we could barely scrape a pin-

hole to see out the windshield."

Listening, I'd

imagine the Chevy cautiously

rounding the slippery

curves of the River Road

in darkness, the same

he drove five years

later, with me buried in

a Blackhawk comic book

all the way to Saint Joe's

the August my

brother Terry arrived.

 

Each birthday I'd press

the receiver closer

to hear the old man's

blurred recitation, and later

chuckle over the repetitions

of age without admitting

even to myself the sense

of renewal that came

with that simple ritual,

which now that he's gone

is one of the things

I find myself missing

most about my father, his

affectionate witness

to three or four details

that made the story real,

and by which again

and again I was born.

       © 1997 by Thomas R. Smith

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
$12.95
Qty:

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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