My Son Wants to Know Who His Biological Father Is
My son wants to know his name. What does he look like? What does he like? My son swims four days a week. When my son swims underwater, he glides between strokes. When he glides underwater, he is an arrow aimed at a wall. Four days a week, his coach says, Count—1…2…—before coming up for air. My father had blue eyes, blonde hair, though mine are brown. My father could not speak Spanish and wondered, How can you love another man? We rarely touched. When my son is counting, I count with him. I say, I am your father, too. 1…2…
Copyright © 2019 by Blas Falconer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“One day I was listening to my son’s swim coach and her feedback on his breaststroke, how he couldn’t muscle his way across the pool, how stillness and patience were important components of good technique. To encourage this, she had him count while his head was under the water, and it seemed like good advice for a lot of things, bearing what troubles you, for example, or writing a poem that is particularly challenging.”
Blas Falconer is the author of three poetry collections, including Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books, 2018). He teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University and lives in Los Angeles, California.
Date Published: 2019-03-18
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/my-son-wants-know-who-his-biological-father