Dad Wore Hats

June 15, 2008

Not when he should have.

On a cold bright day
he would call out
where is your hat?
while the wind played
in his hair.

Nor the way he should have.

It was always
crunched atop his head
by a nephew or daughter
running around our backyard
at a picnic.

Nor what he should have.

Into the dewy night
the adults would sing
heads touching in harmony
dad smoking a Chesterfield
wearing a bonnet.

scalpel, hammer, matches

June 16, 2007

dad was often a car
or washing machine
with arms –

to which I handed
a tool, or pack of smokes

rush_limbaugh2_gi.jpg

In the days of antennae
atop wooden consoles –
we pulled in whatever
was out there.

Much of it, war footage:
tanks in mud
men on stretchers
cannon flashing
Zeros falling

and Der Fuhrer
pounding his fist
in truculent German
to adoring masses.

I would wonder:
what is he saying?
why is he so pissed?
why would people like him?

(just as a non anglophone might think
when first seeing a Limbaugh)

dad wore hats

May 26, 2007

not when he should have

on a cold bright day
he would call out
where is your hat?
while the wind played
in his hair.

nor the way he should have

it was always
crunched atop his head
by a nephew or daughter
running around our backyard
at a picnic.

nor what he should have

into the dewy night
the adults would sing
heads touching in harmony
dad smoking a Chesterfield
wearing a bonnet.

the age of innocence

May 18, 2007

When we are very young
we smell, touch, and lick ourselves.
We stroke and probe.
It feels pleasant and okay.

But it is only a small occupation of time.

pretzel arm

February 21, 2007

I am one of those people who love to sweat. Whether running full stride on a warm evening or playing pick-up basketball in the steamy sun, it all seems very cleansing to me.

When I was young, I remember playing with friends, cousins, and siblings long after dark. We would play hide and seek, flashlight tag, and spy. Dirt rings formed around our necks and became badges of festive accomplishment – Doctor of Fun. We went indoors only when enticed by ice cream or threatened with the loss of privilege.

Upon entering the house, a ghostly light in the living room would reveal a gaggle of younger children already lying on the floor facing the television. Their bowls of ice cream sat protected in front of each of them. Quickly we’d run into the kitchen for our share and then peck our way onto the rug which had now become a beach.

As my body cooled, salt formed on the skin. I could lick my forearm like a big pretzel. It seemed a shame to take a bath and wash it all off.

dad wore hats

August 30, 2006

not when he should have

on a cold bright day
he would yell to us
where is your hat?
while the wind played
in his hair.

nor the way he should have

it was always
crunched atop his head
by a nephew or daughter
running around our backyard
at a picnic.

nor what he should have

into the dewy night
the adults would sing
heads touching in harmony
dad smoking a Chesterfield
wearing a bonnet.

unnamed summer haiku

June 27, 2006

thunderheads rumble
softly into the hot night –
soon cool raindrops