Yusef Komunyakaa

(April 29, 1947)

My Father's Love Letters


On Fridays he'd open a can of Jax
After coming home from the mill,
& ask me to write a letter to my mother
Who sent postcards of desert flowers
Taller than men. He would beg,
Promising to never beat her
Again. Somehow I was happy
She had gone, & sometimes wanted
To slip in a reminder, how Mary Lou
Williams' "Polka Dots & Moonbeams"
Never made the swelling go down.
His carpenter's apron always bulged
With old nails, a claw hammer
Looped at his side & extension cords
Coiled around his feet.
Words rolled from under the pressure
Of my ballpoint: Love,
Baby, Honey, Please.
We sat in the quiet brutality
Of voltage meters & pipe threaders,
Lost between sentences . . .
The gleam of a five-pound wedge
On the concrete floor
Pulled a sunset
Through the doorway of his toolshed.
I wondered if she laughed
& held them over a gas burner.
My father could only sign
His name, but he'd look at blueprints
& say how many bricks
Formed each wall. This man,
Who stole roses & hyacinth
For his yard, would stand there
With eyes closed & fists balled,
Laboring over a simple word, almost
Redeemed by what he tried to say.


Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
1 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: concrete, sunset, baby, sometimes, father, happy, mother, lost, home, flower, rose

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (My Father's Love Letters by Yusef Komunyakaa )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. [CW]Watch The Flash Season 1 Episode 11 .., Renz Barns
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Oscar Wilde

(In memoriam
C. T. W.
Sometime trooper of the Royal Horse Guards
obiit H.M. prison, Reading, Berkshire
July 7, 1896)

I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Ruth Stone

 

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Stages of life, gajanan mishra
  2. Remmbering Guernica, John F. McCullagh
  3. Value, Carolyn Blackmon
  4. Tagore Song (#9) My freedom exist in da.., Tushar Ray
  5. What is Courage, Lewis Antonuk
  6. Full Attention, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  7. Acknowledge What Love has to do with US, michael walkerjohn
  8. That Thing, Luo Zhihai
  9. The Polar Star, Tushar Ray
  10. On Learning in Texas of East Coast Winte.., Bill Grace
[Hata Bildir]