My Father

Scott Hightower

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

Poems by This Author

Apocalypse Soliloquy by Scott Hightower
I hope my death is not stolen from me


Further Reading

Dead Father Poems
Cruel Cogito
by Ken Chen
Do not go gentle into that good night
by Dylan Thomas
Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World
by Sherman Alexie
Lay Back the Darkness
by Edward Hirsch
Little Father
by Li-Young Lee
Mortality
by William Knox
My Father on His Shield
by Walt McDonald
My Father's Hat
by Mark Irwin
Parents
by William Meredith
Renewal [Excerpt]
by Chris Abani
Separation is the necessary condition for light.
by Brian Teare
The Figure
by Joseph Fasano
The Gift
by Li-Young Lee
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
To Her Father with Some Verses
by Anne Bradstreet
Whose Mouth Do I Speak With
by Suzanne Rancourt
Working Late
by Louis Simpson
Yesterday
by W. S. Merwin
Poems About Fathers
'The child is father to the man.'
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Last 4 Things [That hard thread]
by Kate Greenstreet
A Boy and His Dad
by Edgar Guest
A Situation for Mrs. Biswas
by Prageeta Sharma
A Story
by Li-Young Lee
A Story
by Philip Levine
American Primitive
by William Jay Smith
Another Country
by Ryan Teitman
Auld Lang Syne
by Jennifer L. Knox
Blood
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Frantz Fanon
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Daddy
by Sylvia Plath
Descriptions of Heaven and Hell
by Mark Jarman
Do not go gentle into that good night
by Dylan Thomas
Father
by Edgar Guest
Father Outside
by Nick Flynn
Father's Day Cards
from The Princess [Sweet and low, sweet and low]
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World
by Sherman Alexie
Her Father
by Thomas Hardy
How to Be a Lawyer
by Jordan Davis
Inventing Father In Las Vegas
by Lynn Emanuel
Lay Back the Darkness
by Edward Hirsch
Like Him
by Aaron Smith
Man of the Year
by Robin Becker
Meeting with My Father in the Orchard
by Homero Aridjis
my father moved through dooms of love
by E. E. Cummings
My Father on His Shield
by Walt McDonald
My Father Remembers Blue Zebras
by Judy Halebsky
My Father's Hat
by Mark Irwin
My Father's Leaving
by Ira Sadoff
My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke
Only a Dad
by Edgar Guest
Parents
by William Meredith
Passing
by Carl Phillips
Poems about Fathers
Renewal [Excerpt]
by Chris Abani
Separation is the necessary condition for light.
by Brian Teare
Shaving Your Father's Face
by Michael Dickman
Tended Strength: Gifts of Poetry for Fathers
The Ferryer
by Sharon Olds
The Idea of Ancestry
by Etheridge Knight
The Idiot
by Charles Reznikoff
The Portrait
by Stanley Kunitz
The Trouble Ball [excerpt]
by Martín Espada
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
To Her Father with Some Verses
by Anne Bradstreet
Toad
by Diane Seuss
Whose Mouth Do I Speak With
by Suzanne Rancourt
With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach
by William Stafford
Working Late
by Louis Simpson
Yesterday
by W. S. Merwin