A father/son poem – “Saving Hands”

I’m not certain what caused me to write this poem – no doubt some neurosis, complex, or paranoia on my own part. I’m sure at its core, it’s about my relationship with my son Ryan. As a reader though, I should never try to force (auto)biography into a work. That goes double for me as a writer. Let it be there if it needs to be – and let the invention have its way if needed. The truth is: my dad has kissed me many times. And yes – he saved my hand in a fan. And yes – I’m not the father I’d hoped I’d be. I’ve been close at times, but then I’d do something stupid. But, even the mistakes don’t change the want to.

Saving Hands

My father never kissed me,
but he bloodied his hand once,
running it through an electric fan
to save mine. It left a scar.

My father never kissed me,
but he taught me how to hoe corn,
how to keep my fingers from cramping.
And he was happy.

My father never kissed me,
but he pulled from my hand a tenpenny nail
that had glanced from the hammer
while we were building a room.

I’ve kissed my son. I have,
but I’ve never saved his hand.

– originally published in Muse of Fire, later included in Necessary Motions

~ by samofthetenthousandthings on June 19, 2011.

2 Responses to “A father/son poem – “Saving Hands””

  1. Tender, tender..

  2. Thanks, Susan.

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