Bob Hicok

(1960 - / Michigan)

Sudden Movements - Poem by Bob Hicok

My father's head has become a mystery to him.
We finally have something in common.
When he moves his head his eyes
get big as roses filled
with the commotion of spring.
Not long ago he was a man
who had tomato soup for lunch
and dusted with the earnestness
of a gun fight. Now he's a man
who sits at the table trying to breathe
in tiny bites. When they told him
his spinal column is closing, I thought
of all the branches he's cut
with loppers and piled and burned
in the fall, the pinch of the blades
on the green and vital pulp. Surgeons
can fuse vertebrae, a welders art,
and scrape the ring through which
the soul-wires flow as a dentist
would clean your teeth.
And still it could happen, one turn
of his head toward a hummingbird,
wings keeping that brittle life
afloat, working hard against the fall,
and he might freeze in that pose
of astonishment, a man estranged
from the neck down, who can only share
with his body the silence
he's pawned on his children as love.


Comments about Sudden Movements by Bob Hicok

  • Mahtab Bangalee (8/4/2018 10:40:00 PM)


    nice writings-

    Now he's a man
    who sits at the table trying to breathe
    in tiny bites.
    .......
    Surgeons
    can fuse vertebrae, a welders art,
    and scrape the ring through which
    the soul-wires flow as a dentist
    would clean your teeth.

    //// Great art of self inner-side
    (Report) Reply

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  • Savita Tyagi (8/4/2018 10:50:00 AM)


    Beautifully penned. A sad situation dealt with love and tenderness. I think father would be most happy looking at hummingbird and freezing....... (Report) Reply

  • Dr.tony Brahmin (8/4/2018 10:15:00 AM)


    one turn
    of his head toward a hummingbird,
    wings keeping that brittle life
    afloat, ... pawned on his children as love. lovely poem, parent, hard work, life, children, family. now sitting and watching in silence......... but with a great fulfillment that his life is spent well......... lovely poem dear poet. tony
    (Report) Reply

  • Petals Azureblue (8/4/2018 9:56:00 AM)


    When you know there is naught we can do to help alleviate the disease, the greatest thing to do is to love and give of our time. A sad story penned with brilliance. Thanks for sharing. Bob10. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (8/4/2018 7:55:00 AM)


    For me the first two lines make me smile, and I relate. Who of us is not, at times, a mystery to ourselves? Then follows the vivid description of his father’s condition. And, as I read it, there is compassion overall in this portrait which avoids being simplistic or sentimental—which I can relate to. For who of us has not had mixed feelings about a parent? -GK (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (8/4/2018 7:35:00 AM)


    The life gives many surprises. Only love lasts forever. A nice poetry indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/4/2018 7:12:00 AM)


    he's pawned on his children as love.........so touching and impressive. Beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Adrian Flett (8/4/2018 4:37:00 AM)


    'with the commotion of spring' Such a fine look at how life unfolds and we never know what the future holds. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: silence, father, spring, children, green, life, work, child, rose



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, January 23, 2012


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