Arsene Hodali

How Good Fathers Tell Time - Poem by Arsene Hodali

While rushing to work my phone died
(i’d forgotten to charge it last night)

so i asked the man next to me what time it was
before i realized his condition

before i said, “oh, ”

he says he knows, “it’s eight”
judging by the orchestra of cars, i can tell
that if i put my hands out they will not travel far

he points to his cheek, says his sun just kissed him
there, “it’s eight”

points to his chest, says his daughter hugged him
“but her hands were cold, i hugged my jacket”

he says she dances every morning, and he gets up early to watch
but the brass section was especially good today
so he found himself here


“eight, ” he says
the grasping of handles will be too firm
too quick, too mindless
for a little while longer

says he likes eleven most
“that crowd knows how to dance! ”
you can tell by the goosebumps

on the buses’ curves that the eleven crowd knows
how to dance, says they’re calm
and they take they’re time
when reading braille

“we all need a badnight’s rest
a good morning”

i ask him if i’m a good dancer
he laughs

and laughs, and laughs, and gets up
as the bus slows down

says “sorry kid, ” as he wipes a tear
and stifles a laugh

your arms still flail here
get a little more practice in

i ask him, how will i know when i’m good

he says you don’t, you just wake up one day
with a wedding ring on, and a couple of kids
and this orchestra that follows you around

the brass section is especially good today

Comments about How Good Fathers Tell Time by Arsene Hodali

  • Phiwe Mbatha (6/13/2013 4:07:00 PM)

    Great poem, thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 13, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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