Thursday, November 30, 2006

From ALP #88

This one made me smile . . .

My Father Holds the Door for Yoko Ono

In New York City for a conference
on weed control, leaving the hotel
in a cluster of horticulturalists,
he alone stops, midwestern, crewcut,
narrow blue tie, cufflinks, wingtips,
holds the door for the Asian woman
in a miniskirt and thigh high
white leather boots. She nods
slightly, a sad and beautiful gesture.
Neither smile, as if performing
a timeless ritual, as if anticipating
the loss of a son or a lover.

Years later, Christmas, inexplicably
he dons my mother's auburn wig,
my brother's wire-rimmed glasses,
and strikes a pose clowning
with my second hand acoustic guitar.
He is transformed, a working class hero
and a door whispers shut,
like cherry blossoms falling.

Reprinted from "Folio," Winter, 2004, by permission of the author. Copyright (c) 2004 by Christopher Chambers, who teaches creative writing at Loyola University New Orleans. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.


Sandra said...

This is incredible! I *selected* that poem for Folio when I was editing the journal, in association with getting an MFA at American University. We decided to put it on the opening page of the issue--that is how much we loved it. This is the first I've heard that it was circulated in the column. THANK YOU for posting. Chris Chambers writes wonderful work...

Peter said...

Hi Sandra. It's a wonderful poem. Good eye!