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My Father Gone These Forty Years



My father gone these forty years,
my mother gone twenty, I remember...
the acrid smell of tobacco
on my mother’s rough fingers,
as she sat, silently,
in a predawn Texas coastal town,
my head in her lap, the short-wave
radio crackling with static.
She strained to hear the chatter of
shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico,
yelling out to each other
in Cajun patois French,
Mexican Spanish, accented English;
she stroked my nine-year-old hair,
her middle-aged body aching,
hungry, worried, sleepless,
far from her roots, stranded
in this strange, dry,
totally foreign place.
Her imaginings of my father’s
struggles with the sea
and its weathers filled her mind,
and she knew, all the while, that,
even if he were safe, earning money,
he (and she) would fail
and we would still suffer
the poverty of the hopeless
and desperate doomed,
whose minor, occasional comforts
were only, onshore, the cold beers
and noisy camaraderie of the others
like her, like him,
like us.
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Submitted on May 01, 2011

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L. Larry Amadore Claim this poet

A word lover who enjoys beautiful poetry of all genres and responds with admiration to fresh and felicitous phrases. [Retired manufacturing/production control mgr./marketing manager/financial analyst. USAF veteran; lived in US, Mexico, Germany, Turkey.] more…

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