Father

My father, the angry man

My father, red faced,

Pinched,

Tight,

Crooked teeth

That ground together

as if chewing on rocks.


My father, stiff

Rigid

Always a frown

Never a smile

Or chuckle

How I used to wonder if he could

If he was capable


How lonely that must feel

To never laugh

To never fold your arms

Around another's neck

To never collapse

Into a chest,

Into a hug,

Hear the lullaby of a

Heart beat softly

Against your ear


His hands, veiny and rough

His finger nails gnawed to the tip

His hands hardened,

Ungiving,

His hands

That are never held

That never caress.

Are they cold?

Do they ache?

Are they sore?

From the tightly bound fists

He always walks with.


Do they ever open?

Reach?

Grasp or

Yearn for warmth

To feel the skin

Of another


Has he ever felt my tiny

Fingers interlock in his...

Would he squeeze?

Would he pull away?

Would he thaw?

Melt?

Or weep?


I would smile

Knowing he was touched

Just for a second

By my hand

By my skin

By my soul


To say I did it once

I touched my father

For a moment

He softened

For a moment

He wasn't an angry man



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