A poem of quiet power and beauty, Dalton Day’s “The Last Time My Father Sees Me” strikes a rare balance between honest emotion and fresh, surreal imagery.
The Last Time My Father Sees Me
We are in a parking lot.
There is one car, and we both know
we aren’t leaving together.
He takes his shoulders back from me.
I will never earn them.
The engine snarls, ready to let
the blood pour, that strangled river
He is holding my name hostage.
He says, I’ll talk to you soon, boy.
I suspend his disbelief
between my arms, a poisoned hawk.
He is looking in the rearview mirror
watching himself leave me.
I am wearing my mother’s dress,
heading towards my own
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Photo by pauline praline /Flickr