The Son Writes

Death is blackened
by white roses orchestrating
the stage for grief.

My father wrote
those three lines,
before he died.
Now I hear them,
those lines, once more
as his fellows gather and muse
and drink about.

He was a good mentor,
a sensational man of letters–
his passing is felt.

But I’m the only one who manages to see
what my father wrote–lines
ready to be drowned by history’s waves.
I see through the mush,
and the things my father did
to achieve a pedestal amongst guardians
of the ivy halls. But, he remains
for now, while I am alive and trying to confine
my own place for when they look at me
they only see the son, the shadow
of his greatness.


Note: I posted a version of this a few days ago but deleted it in favor of this rewrite.

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2 thoughts on “The Son Writes

  1. Such arresting word choices and combinations:

    “remains”: both the verb singular and the noun plural could be found in there.
    drowned by “history’s waves”: great metaphor
    they muse and “drink about” ? sit around drinking and reminiscing?
    “to achieve pedestal”, as in fame and recognition.

    Terrific use of language.

    • Thanks. And “drink about” is referring to the people there reminiscing but I also wanted to reflect the speaker’s attitude toward the people who were most likely friends and fellow academics of his father’s. And “to achieve a pedestal” is referring to fame but also to how we put people on pedestals while ignoring their flaws as a way of worship. Thank you for your comments.

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