Morgan Michaels

The First Time - Poem by Morgan Michaels

The first time I told my poor father
that I intended to become a poet, come what may,
like John Greenleaf Whittier and many another
it was the morning of the day.
The sun threw a bucket of light lightly
over the grey shale flags, a white screen for the leaves
to finger-signal. The trees shimmered and sang mightily.
It was the Main Line. He had made it.

All the greeny shrubs in the dark little plots stood stock still
listening to overhear what he might say-
The day lilies nodded and lent ear.
Would he be angry? Would he sing goddam?
Would he look at me like I was a fool, an abomination?
the despair of his life? Something to obscure?
Suggest, again,
with crisp, hopeful conviction
that I take flying lessons?
'Quem, tu, Melpomene, semel'
Lo. he did not swear, stamp his foot,
yell, or fill the air with terse, menacing cries.

Rather, he sat stock still and gave it a minute-
being in all respects a thoughtful man
who had seen his share of accident and misfortune
and who knew the link between them.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 26, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, January 27, 2012

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