James Jarrett

Freshman - 986 Points (1963 / California)

A Trip To See My Father - Poem by James Jarrett

I look at him
Illuminated by the dim yellow glow
of warm lamplight

He smiles
reclined and comfortable
in the chair of my youth

His rough unshaven face
carries the lines
of a million good times

His warmth makes
the slightly tattered furniture
look better, more comfortable

He stays up late into the night
telling worn old jokes
still funny

He basks in the love of his family
come to see him
and is warmed

I am carried back
carried to my place
in that chair

Loved and protected
rough whiskers on my skin
always safe with him

Sitting in that chair
always with a laugh
always with a smile

Now the oxygen tube snakes
'round his neck
while he tells stories

But his laugh
is still deep
and loud

The hour is late
and I drink his fine whiskey
that he no longer can

I look deeply
into his sparkling eyes
and know that he will die

But not when he can laugh
and still feel
like a child


Comments about A Trip To See My Father by James Jarrett

  • Susan LacovaraSusan Lacovara (1/30/2014 11:34:00 AM)

    Quiet, the heart recalls when youth was ours...and our parents seemed like invincible forces in our lives. You poem was a majestic tribute to your father. I have saved it, as a favorite, relating well to the honesty of emotion. I invite you to read Photographic Memory, written for my late father. Thank you for sharing this. PEACE (Report)Reply

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  • Shirley Hanley (9/13/2009 2:56:00 PM)

    James I found you through your comments on Billy Collins poem 'Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In The House'. Your poem here shows that we are kindred spirits in the way you express yourself. I can see why you like Billy Collins... who happens to be my favorite poet.

    Nice poem... love the simplicity of word use to express something deeply felt.
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  • Ben Gieske (1/5/2009 1:26:00 PM)

    “dim yellow glow” - a good combination.
    “in the chair of my youth” provides a nice and clever contrast.
    This poem is a pleasure to read. You chose the right format and gave it a lilting, relaxing rhythm. I like the way you worded the third stanza (His rough unshaven face /carries the lines /of a million good times) . You convey a lot of feeling. Well done.
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  • Ben Gieske (12/4/2008 8:19:00 AM)

    Very nostalgic, peaceful, and a certain contentment with the situation. Nice to have something specific you can love about someone and remember with appreciation. (Report)Reply

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  • Sathyanarayana M V SSathyanarayana M V S (10/15/2008 11:26:00 AM)

    Thanks James. You brought back the reminiscences of my late father. Anybody can relate with this great poem.......thank u once again. (Report)Reply

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  • Fay SlimmFay Slimm (10/5/2008 9:05:00 AM)

    A moving account and a beautiful tribute to fine and lasting love. Your ending has a wrench too. You are a master at that tho. A very well written piece..10 + + from Fay. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 5, 2008

Poem Edited: Sunday, October 5, 2008


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