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)