I spent an hour of Father's Day scouring books and books of poetry, looking for a certain poem of a father and son that, alas, I did not find. I read and in many cases reread poems of fathers and families, but of all that I read, Richard Jones' "After Work" stayed with me the longest. I love it.
Coming up from the subway
into the cool Manhattan evening,
I feel rough hands on my heart—
women in the market yelling
over rows of tomatoes and peppers,
old men sitting on a stoop playing cards,
cabbies cursing each other with fists
while the music of church bells
sails over the street,
and the father, angry and tired
after working all day,
embracing his little girl,
mi vida, mi corazón,
brushing the hair out of her eyes
so she can see.
* mi vida, "my life"
* mi corazon, "my heart"
While searching the internet for a copy of "After Work," I came across this brilliant little site, Poetry 365, that posts a poem a day, tagged by author and subject. Judging by the limited selection I perused, this poet lover and I share very much the same tastes in poetry. I will certainly be visiting again.
Happy Father's Day, most particularly to my own dear Dad.