RICARDO’S FATHER. A Poem by John Grey


Hair crowded his body:

facial hair, chest hair,

hair through the back of his hands.

He was always a frozen transformation scene

from “The Wolf-Man.”

He had so little skin.

How do you love a man

who sprouts more than he towers,

like loving Renoir for the paint

Bergman for the celluloid.

My own father

would shave in the morning

and be done with it.

Hair was easily contained.

I could make connection

between his cheeks and mouth arid chin..

His chest was brown and clear

from working in the sun.

And I could see the strength in his hands,

felt what lifted me.

Ricardo confided in me

that his father could not find work,

and I figured it was because

no one would ever hire such a jungle.

He added that his parents were separated,

Once again, how do you love

the camouflaged man?

He said he saw him just on weekends,

looked forward to

those bright, sunny Saturdays.

He spoke of razors of warmth and light.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

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