You will transcend your ancestor’s suffering You will pick a blue ball. You will throw it to yourself. You will be on the other side to receive. Green leaves grow around your face. Hair stands on your body. You look at old photographs that say: The bread is warm! A child is a blessing! That’s what I said! I meant it! You could say this is a poem. Like the great halves of the roof that caved and carved together. Found us before words and tender-footing. Before wrongdoing and the octaves of blue above us all.
Copyright © 2018 by Sarah Gambito. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 12, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
I wanted to walk outside and praise the stars, But David, my baby son, coughed and coughed. His comfort was more important than the stars So I comforted and kissed him in his dark Bedroom, but my comfort was not enough. His mother was more important than the stars So he cried for her breast and milk. It's hard For fathers to compete with mothers' love. In the dark, mothers illuminate like the stars! Dull and jealous, I was the smallest part Of the whole. I know this is stupid stuff But I felt less important than the farthest star As my wife fed my son in the hungry dark. How can a father resent his son and his son's love? Was my comfort more important than the stars? A selfish father, I wanted to pull apart My comfortable wife and son. Forgive me, Rough God, because I walked outside and praised the stars, And thought I was more important than the stars.
From Face by Sherman Alexie. Copyright © 2009 by Sherman Alexie. Used by permission of Hanging Loose Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.