Sunday, June 19, 2016

Poem: A Thought on Father's Day: Lawrence J. Holder 1917 to 2003

Lawrence Holder (Left) Doug Holder ( Right)


I read this poem at my father's funeral on April 23, 2003. Lawrence J. Holder was 86, and one
 helluva guy.



And yes
it has come to the time
when I see my father's face
in the mirror,
my squint is his
the nascent crow's feet
stretching into laugh lines
my angry brow
solicits the always surprising question
"What's wrong?"
"Why--nothing."
Didn't I always ask him the same question?
Do I find myself
praying over the New York Times
like a scholar over a sacred text?
A drink to my side
my legs crossed right to left
just like him ?
Was that him the other day
that reflection in the store window
slightly hunched
arms stiff
swinging robotically
clothed in Seersucker?
I looked back
but he was gone.
Was I chasing a hallucination?
Like him
I am drawn to the sea
to the sound of breaking waves,
on the shore-
to the eternal ebb and flow
to the primal smell of death and life
to the gulls sitting shiva
on the rocks
to the purple death
of the sun each evening
its bright rebirth
from the portals of the sea's horizon.
Who is this man I see?
It is my father
and it is me.

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