Forrest Hamer

(1956 -)

Lesson - Poem by Forrest Hamer

It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We'd been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew

Mississippi to be more dangerous than usual.
Dark lay hanging from the trees the way moss did,
and when it moaned light against the windows
that night, my father pulled off the road to sleep.

Noises
that usually woke me from rest afraid of monsters
kept my father awake that night, too,
and I lay in the quiet noticing him listen, learning
that he might not be able always to protect us

from everything and the creatures besides;
perhaps not even from the fury suddenly loud
through my body about his trip from Texas
to settle us home before he would go away

to a place no place in the world
he named Viet Nam. A boy needs a father
with him, I kept thinking, fixed against noise
from the dark.


Comments about Lesson by Forrest Hamer

  • Gold Star - 16,998 Points * Sunprincess * (5/27/2014 10:11:00 AM)

    .........oh so very sad his father is leaving for vietnam......great write.. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Silver Star - 3,564 Points Paul Sebastian (3/31/2014 5:34:00 AM)

    An experience of your life, felt deeply and expressed well. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Eve Karal (3/30/2014 10:14:00 PM)

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  • Rookie - 406 Points Richard Blay (3/30/2014 5:25:00 PM)

    i feel the terror as i read, but one thing, nowhere is cool. Good work (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 992 Points Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (3/30/2014 11:36:00 AM)

    In the cold swamps of Vietnam
    He must have held his son close
    In a soggy wallet - piece of home
    A father on the hostile distant shore....

    Excellent poem (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,282 Points Nika Mcguin (3/30/2014 1:17:00 AM)

    This is beautiful, frightening, and profound. I love poems like this, personal, telling a story, leaving me wondering. Its lovely.

    ~Nika (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 304 Points Guy Lip-more (9/5/2012 4:12:00 PM)

    I can almost feel your emotions. Good write. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 8 Points Besa Dede (3/31/2012 3:44:00 PM)

    A good narration poem, Forest. Thank you for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sansika Uthayakumar (3/31/2012 11:54:00 AM)

    wow i can really feel the moments it's a really nice poem i really liked the way u started your poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 5 Points Richard Post (3/30/2012 10:55:00 AM)

    very good, helped me feel the moments and the times past (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 71 Points Indira Babbellapati (3/30/2012 10:26:00 AM)

    brilliant... lessons in living! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Godwin Clement (3/30/2012 7:59:00 AM)

    Brilliant piece Forrest. (Report) Reply

Read all 12 comments »




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Read poems about / on: father, family, dark, summer, sleep, home, night, light, world, tree



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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