Poets’ Corner: Gordon for Father’s Day

Poets’ Corner: Gordon for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring, well,… The holiday also celebrates fatherhood in general, paternal bonds, and the influence of dads in society. For some, however, Father’s Day is shorthand for pulling out a wallet. Again. Gifts of watches and Fitbits, beard trimmers, bespoke home distilleries and grills, tickets to sports events, all standard tributes. But when a tie feels lame, golf balls too tame, and gift certificates way too impersonal, how about the gift of words? Like the following from Erika Gordon, locally a liaison for the Telluride Film Festival, but also a great poet and mom – and the loving daughter of a man who sounds like he was well worth knowing.

For Father’s Day

It’s been six years

since you released

your last exhale.

I wasn’t in the room

when it happened because

that is how you wanted it,

just like your own father.

I believe you felt

it had something to do with grace,

though I often regret it,

that I wasn’t there to hold

your hand, to support you toward

your next great opening.

Instead we were sitting

in that fancy white lobster

restaurant in Malibu,

your two children,

with the clinky glasses

and the aproned waiters

and the wall of windows

to the sea. That blue ocean,

where you spent

so many of your years

losing yourself

and finding yourself.

You longed for the home

that was always waiting for you,

and we both knew it

the moment

you were gone.  

We looked at each other

over the crumbs and shells

and toasted our flutes

of expensive champagne,

tried to celebrate you

as best we could

through the chain of our DNA

was ripping, and we felt it,

as you left

for that other horizon.

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