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
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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