Fathers and Sons

Down by the old Springfield mill
Where waste water churned spume
And local boys in summertime swam
Bare-ass in the cold brown waters

The two of us would walk, silence
Caressing like an ineffective balm,
Unable to sooth the roughness
Or lessen the guilt fed friction

That chaffed the space between us.
Ideally there is a way things should be
But reality gives you life… things
The way they are… no questions.

Some lessons are learned too late.
I should have left my rags,
Soiled with childhood’s memories,
Beside that polluted creek

And jumped in naked maybe then
He too would have found his way.

An Urn of Ashes

All she had left was memories
And an old clock, its walnut frame
Smooth like time in its passing,
Worn where edges once were crisp

He left her when she was just a baby,
Nearly a hatchling, still she longed
For her daddy just as any girl would
And at age of sagacity found him

In a one-night pit stop and market
Openly catering to appetites rare.
Flesh being flesh and the human need
Being strong as it is, she danced

Every dance known before she ever
Danced her first one with me.
Tripping the full circle a time or two
All the freaking way around

Without ever stopping or taking
The time to come up for air, but
His presence in her life would not
Have stopped her decline into the pit

Her journey was long ago destined
Set upon by the course of the wind


We crossed
That border
Tearing down fences
Long standing
Love in retrospect
Would not have removed
The rusty barbwire
Surrounding my heart
Or cut its flesh
So deeply

Nathan is a carpenter/poet living in the mountains of Tennessee.
His poetry has appeared at Red River Review, Tamafyhr Mountain
Poetry, Lily, Underground Window, Zafusy, and Blue House.

© 2008 Underground Voices