My Son, My Dad

Driving home, I was thinking
about telling you
(for the millionth time!)
that you need a shave.
My poor, hirsute, Italian boy.
You were just a child when I
had to purse my lips,
twist my face,
do strangely bizarre contortions
for our shaving lesson.

Here we are, five years later,
and my mind suddenly shouts,
You never taught him how to tie a tie!
And I am appalled at myself.

If your granddad were here,
he'd teach you how to weave a
Full Windsor, a Half Windsor, a Four in Hand.
He'd stand close enough so that
you'd breathe his scent of tobacco and Mennen,
and coffee or Scotch.

He's been gone 34 years today, though.
So I will buy you a tie soon,
and we'll learn this together.
I think God guides single mothers
as they fumble to knot a Half Windsor.

Edit: Right after I wrote that, I went to Larry's blog and saw a link to Don Miller's new book: To Own a Dragon - Reflections on growing up without a father. Maybe Carman's not too old for me to read out loud to him...


Darla said...

i love your poems anne. thank you for sharing this one with us. i envisioned you "shaving" with your son and it made me smile! :) you are so cute. i can't wait to get this book for michael. how awesome... if it's anything like don miller's other books, it will be life-changing i'm sure. this is a much needed book for men w/out fathers, isn't it? i read the first chapter... how funny he talks about the cosby show... who didn't want a family like the cosbys? ha ha

anne said...

Oh Darla, thanks for that. I just kind of blogged that off the top of my head. Normally I let poems sit awhile and marinate and then go back to them. I haven't read much past Miller's prologue yet, but I think I'm going to print off the first chapter at work and then read some of it to Carman...and hopefully he'll be intrigued enough to want us to read the rest of it together. I absolutely love reading Miller!

Kevin J. Bowman said...

Anne - I loved your poem too. I think child raising is rough with two parents... I can't imagine it with only 1. May God continue to bless your efforts and give you strength.