Tuesday, February 28, 2012


He came home to two martinis
and Art Buchwald out loud
in his black bucket chair,
steam creeping out the kitchen door.
By dinner he’d rolled his sleeves,
Indian-brown arms
like snakes under skin,
and we knew to pass the plates
without a sound.
If he was happy, he’d tell us
about the railroad—
emptied the toilets
right onto the tracks
or the slaughterhouse
or the aircraft carrier nose-up
and falling fast.
Fish sticks hung in mid-air
and crashed the conning towers
of our tater tots. Milk bled out
the mouths of glasses.
Later, he’d change
and walk to the garage,
wrestle metal for hours
and shoot the bright rivets
through round, clean holes.

Posted for DVerse Poets
OpenLinkNight, Week 33

(Originally appeared in Alehouse)


  1. shivers...great use of language in this...milk bleeding from mouthes...you def set the tone of that table...and shooting bright rivets into the holes makes a great close...beautiful piece...

  2. This is so well balanced and polished. The lines flow uninterrupted, with a great sense of rhythm. And what a great ending. Such finality. Nice job.

  3. I think this must be a tribute to a blue-collar man, steady as he went, life not so elegant but work to be done without complaint or remorse. No putting a polish on it, taking it as it came.

    It is written in respectful hand, something short of silent tribute, poignant in a way, but fitting.

    It has a tender but solemn and steady flow . . kind of blue-collar, when I think about it.

    It is very nice. I read it three times.


  4. A great read, I too read it a few times, I really enjoyed this and the snapshot of when dad comes home for dinner. Nothing fancy here just a simple tale told as Jeff has already said with a respectful hand... I just loved it!

  5. Wonderful telling! Much enjoyed :)

  6. This is a great first-person, small detail portrait. Loved it.

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  8. Hello, kind last poster -- I actually didn't grow up in Mill Valley, so perhaps you're thinking of a different Amy Miller. Thank you for visiting and commenting, though!