Father

by Brian Lowry
criticalpoet.org
Honorable Mention, June 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


He taught me to spell grasshopper,
“g-r-a-double s-hippitty hop, flippitty flop,
don’t stop ‘til you get to the top-e-r, grasshopper.

And Constantinople was, “Catcha-key, catcha-kye,
catcha-constantinye, catch an ople, catch a poeple,
catch a Constantinople.”

In his time there were no cell phones,
no digital technologies, no personal
computers. Blackberries, he walked miles for,

picked and ate with the pleasure
of childhood. His countenance was
an oil-filled lantern.

This morning’s mizzle, the predawn
darkness, the animals’ slow stirring
when I fed, brought his light to my head.

And the cricketsong, which had gone
unnoticed, underscored the rhythm
of heaven and earth as one.


Charming and well-chosen instances. And I like the gathering rhyme towards the last couplet. Just a tiny bit conservative, in both diction (“Blackberries, he walked miles for”) and message. --Fiona Sampson

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