Sunday, June 16, 2024


 —Poems by Nolcha Fox, Stephen Kingsnorth,
and Joyce Odam
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY

We don’t know how to say
I’m sorry, I forgive you,
it’s all past, I love you still.
Instead, we talk of coverings for floors,
of paint brands, contractors,
electricians, the cost of wood.
We don’t know how to say
the pain’s too deep
to heal enough to see
each other face to face.
Instead, we call each other
once a week, we chat
about the weather
and the price of gas,
how awful travel
is these days.
We’re long-distance
family, we’re just
better off this way.

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

I am no ornithologist—
but cygnets, muted, feather bed—
wedge like formation set in flight—
would lean me to a mother’s pride.
I’d bank on bevy, water glide,
a slide by water boatmen bugs,
as cob, pen, lake identical—
but is the male so put upon
to serve serene as paddle boat?

Paternity, both rights and rites
are better followed, creature-wide
than in the human family?
How many hoods define their rôle
deserting nest before kids fledge?
I celebrate more, parenthood,
whatever planned or left to chance,
but farther-hood a danger sign:
too soon to settle—swan about.

As mother bears so father waits,
diaper nightly, early hours,
but that, experience of one,
without a universal claim—
responsibility best shared
whatever custom, lore declared.
One big surprise, survival game?
Of six grandkids, just one same name.

Primeval hint, that I should care,
identity of labelled tribe.
Why should I dare, when health is theirs,
that surname should continue line?
I’m not a Smith, Jones, Taylor, Brown,
but Kingsnorth has a rarer spread;
‘the king’s land’ from year 125—
two millennia—keep the thread. 

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

Such a
huge space to fill:
my father—my stranger—
time’s distance between us, full of

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 6/19/12)


Today’s LittleNip:

I want to congratulate all the men out there who are working diligently to be good fathers. whether they are stepfathers, or biological fathers. or just spiritual fathers.

—T.D. Jakes


—Medusa, with thanks to these three SnakePals for today’s fine poems about the ambivalence of father/child relationships~



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