Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


My Father

was a cowboy.
My father was a sugar man.
My father was a teamster.
 
My father was a Siberian 
tiger; a corsair; a lamb, 
a yellow dog, a horse's ass.
 
My father had a triple bi-pass.
My father was a rat 
but he bought me my first hat. 
 
My father believed in decency 
and fair play. My father drove 
the getaway. My father was a blue jay.
 
My father drove the boys away.
My father drove a Thunderbird, 
a Skylark, a Firebird, an old pickup truck 
 
with a rusty tool box, a Skybird, 
a Sunray. My father drove hard bargains 
ever day; he was a force. My father 
 
was mercurial. He was passive, 
a little moody: rock... paper... scissors. 
He loved me. He loved me not.
 
He stomps and hurls lightning bolts. 
Has slipped away. Passed away. 
My father was passé. My father 
 
was a Texas Ranger. Taught me 
to pray. Because of him, I hoard things 
in an old shoe box. Because of him, I use 
 
botox. Because of him, I look to clocks. 
Because of my father, I know how 
to oil the gate; don’t own a map. 
 
Because of my father, I have no use for 
similes. Because of my father, I hunger 
for my own catalog of metaphors.
 


(for Doris Schnabel)

Credit


Copyright © 2010 by Scott Hightower. Used by permission of the author.

Author


Scott Hightower

Born in Texas on August 4, 1952, Scott Hightower is the author of Part of the Bargain, winner of the Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets

Date Published: 2010-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/my-father