Poet’s Corner: Rosemerry for Father’s Day

Poet’s Corner: Rosemerry for Father’s Day

The holiday is meant to celebrate 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, not a small thing at all, from poet and teacher Word Woman Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.

Small Things

Small things aren’t just important,
says my father. They’re everything.
And I think of how,
night after night, he’d lie
on his back on the floor
and bench press me
as I stood with one foot
in each of his hands.
Years later, every morning
he’d lift me with a phone call—
This is the Broadmoor. This is your
morning wake up call.
He’d say it in his snootiest,
haughtiest British butler voice.
And years later,
when we hold hands
he rubs his thumb across my thumb,
a small, familiar gesture of love.
Now, wishing I could hold
his hand while we sit
in different rooms together
a thousand miles away,
I can almost feel
the pad of his thumb
move across my knuckles
the way wind moves over water
and creates the weather.
It lifts me.
It’s everything.

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