waiting for the father

he waited today
as he had for years
for some nod

pass the corn, dad
which he did without
looking up from his plate.
did the wind do any damage?
his dad grunted.

Advertisement

he remembered
following his dad into the bathroom
before his own whiskers appeared—
watched him shave from the toilet seat.
never looked his way
as he patted on mennen aftershave—
silently headed out to finish dressing.

he knew he’d get the strap
if he came home late
if he back-talked
if he had let the fields flood
if his gopher traps came up empty
if his furrows weren’t straight
and grades, the grades, always the grades.

he resigned himself
he would not ever be good enough

yet, this Christmas
again, he
watched him
as if he were seven.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 20. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Eleven of the new cardinals are under the age of 80 and so have the right to vote in the next conclave.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 20, 2018
Images: AP, Wikimedia Commons
Bishop Curry described Teilhard as “one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century.”
Angelo Jesus CantaMay 19, 2018
Both men were close to each other in life, and both are much revered by Pope Francis.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 19, 2018
The Gaza Nakba demonstrations this week have done nothing to advance the situation of Palestinian refugees, nor did they provide relief to the people of Gaza, who dwell in an open-air prison, hemmed in and oppressed at every turn.