Dad, I still have your middle name,
Despite how you say you’re ‘dumb as dirt.’
Despite how your shirt, encrusted with old oil,
Hangs in the hamper for mom to clean,
I still have your middle name. I carry it with me
Like a little girl carries a doll through the super market.
Dad, don’t be sad when you see me slowly slip away to school,
Nimble on my fresh feet and knees
While you nurse your back, broken by work.
Your glazed over eyes give you away, your exhaustion,
Your gritty knuckles with countless calluses
That would softly get me out from sleep when I was too world-weary.
In the days when I would wake up soaked in broken tears,
Hearing the clink of your coffee cup,
I knew how hard it was, and when you kept going, I kept going.
Dad, father, can’t you see how poetic you are?
How you knead life into lead ridden machines
And give dreams to your accidental children.
Brian Thomas is a rising sophomore at Ursinus College. He is the 2014 recipient of the Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry award from West Chester University. He has been published in The Lantern, Ursinus College’s literary magazine.