I caught an echo of my father

in the way you wear your coat

In the way you're not entirely there

but linger on like smoke

I was looking for a thing that's gone

like those pens with tubes of ink

like mucilage or gum erasers

or feeling loved, I think

Now I've freighted you and burdened you 

and slowed you from yourself

with drapery of memory

I should hook and part myself

But all it was, was honor, sir

all it was was need

to make of you a palimpsest

that I could sigh and read.


For Sunday Muse #178, where I am hosting

the image is actor Alden Ehrenreich


  1. I wondered which one you would pick. This has a steady acceleration, smooth as a jet engine on a flight to memory, old legends we tell ourselves, and former selves. Excellent word, palimpsest, and a fitting use of it here, where something has been overwritten, but not lost.

  2. Love this in a way that I wished I wrote it first about my father. Spot on.

  3. A gentle and touching visit with memories of your father.

  4. Love the fluid rhythm and words of this .

  5. As always you have taken a deep thought and feeling that we can all relate to like love, fathers, loss, memory and spoken it out loud in a ways we never could have dreamt of. This is absolutely wonderful my friend! It feels like maybe you were inspired by all the images in your poem. Am I right? I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

  6. A good way to rid one's self of images of his/her father. Mine comes and goes, perhaps I could think of your write and wash my images away, some are brutal.
    Shay, thank you for hosting, these photos are a great idea. And I learned a new word, "palimpsest", from you. I knew the principal, it is a good way to salvage a canvas when what has just been finished stinks. Or wait a while, then do it.
    BTW, I am a partial dyslectic.

  7. I had to look up palimpsest, and it's a good word when it comes to memories of parents. I know it feels like as I change the writing and perspective on them continues to change.

  8. This is the kind of poem that, once read, settles into the skin and remains.

  9. Verse 2 is my favourite, for its resonating quality.
    Luv my newly encountered word
    - palimpsest


  10. Looking for things gone, sometimes we can never truly find them. Time has a
    way of erasing some of the memories but, footnotes remain.

  11. "I was looking for a thing that's gone / like those pens with tubes of ink / like mucilage or gum erasers / or feeling loved, I think" I was rolling with this line by line, loving tubes of ink (yes!) Then "mucilage" (boffo!) Then you slid a shiv into my heart with the last line of that. Flawless.

  12. Gone, but not gone. So many wonderful word pairings like freighted you ... slowed you. Sigh.

  13. What you did with the title and closing is so smart. Relational dyslexia—an inability to read the men you love and long to understand. I have extensive experience with learning disabilities and the pain, frustration, helplessness, and hopelessness that go along with being desperate to read and learn but being unable to. You have beautifully applied those same feelings to reading and accessing people. And isn’t that just what we do? ~Turn people into other things—read them through a colored overlay of our own choosing.

  14. That second stanza was haunting. Again, your use of language
    is incredible.


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