My Father Forgets Himself, John Johnson

Fish Detail Fish Detail. Memphis. 2013. Nosey (photo credit: Karen B. Golightly)

 

 

 

My Father Forgets Himself

 

He showed up at a party tonight
in the way someone was
holding a drink. I let it go.

But later, as I was leaving,
he caught my eye
in a mirror, slipped his
hollow feet inside
my shoes. All the way home
he kept
banging an empty pot
with the ghost of a spoon,
trying to wake me
for church or school.

Now I sit here in the dark
staring at a fire
like a child at a magic show.
Roses in the wood grain
blaze. Their petals—
except one—
vanish up the flue.

Visitor, I’ve heard it called,
that ember that
levitates
on the tips of flames.

_____________________
John Johnson

 

“My Father Forgets Himself” was a Broadside Winner in Sebastopol Center for the Arts 2011 “Bibliophoria” contest. It was letterpress printed by Iota Press.

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