102: Certain Things by David Brendan Hopes

For the sake of my father, certain things
must be done in a certain way:
tightening of bolts, of nuts around threads;
coiling of hoses; firm, instant replacement of lids;
spreading of seed from the hand held just so,
in furrows dug to the joint or the knuckle, depending;
wash it when you use it, never put it up wet;
don’t be opening and closing the screen door
as if you were a cat.
Be grateful for a job, a meal, a leg up.
All that.
In the seasons set aside for such emotions,
of course I hated him.
All things, even hatred, wear away.
In the season set aside I became him,
doing what he did in the way he did it,
hiding the injured heart the way he hid it.
Waking so many hours before full day
from the dream
that something certain’s gone astray.


The author’s work can be found in the volume, PENIEL.

Think about how the poem made you feel. Do you relate to having a type-A parent personality? One who had invisible expectations that were clear in their own mind that you may have found impossible to live up to? Did resentment or even hatred ever creep in? Do you still find it sitting with you, or can you begin to release it?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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