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Reflection on Finding A Note My Father Wrote Me 16 Years Ago

John Oughton
From:   Take With You What You've Left. Toronto: Sixth Floor Press, 1993.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


This is the first time
I have appeared in a poem
                                                                               Your disappearances: short (temper & work)
                                                                               Long (losing interest in this family)

I have taken trouble, now
to conceal my identity.
                                                                               Then you must have known,
                                                                               finally, who you were.

I have dyed my hair green.
I am getting to the count-down stage.
                                                                               Tanks full, silver nose
                                                                               aimed at the silent stars.

Just gave my scientific books to the local
university. Came in with zero.
                                                                               Snapshot: you at six, short pants, holding up
                                                                               tray of baby chicks: small, warm zeros.

Plan to leave the stage
at that level, too.
                                                                               You take with you
                                                                               what you've left behind
— Jack                                                                                                          — John


John Oughton's works copyright © to the author.


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