fathering father

By Gerard Sarnat

“ …the man who bred me breeds me yet…”
— Gael Turnbull, from “Bjarni, Spike-Helgi’s Son”

holy schnikes —

grabbing the car keys, 50 Cents’ rap running wild
everything about him reviled
recalling what he wished to forget am I
a better dad to Dad than I was his child?

softer since Mama who breastfed me died
washing beagle hairballs off his wheelchair’s widow’s peak smile
so controlled and beguiling
dear Daddy into the Rabbit, I’m unriled
‘cause the VW’s finally mineminemine!

with that tight “Son-keep-things-clean” style
he droned I drive
Pops’ three-pronged cane to senior daycare …wait a while
(though nobody stayed at nursery school my first time).

Oedipus Schmoedipus, Pop’s Alzheim-
er’s mess spread out like
my adolescent room this apprentice somehow survives
at a moody master’s knee as he dictates his last CV which I file
hiphopping that extra mile
as a cold family’s hostile
oldest tyke.


Gerard Sarnat is the author of three critically acclaimed collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES: from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), and 17s (2014) in which each poem, stanza or line has 17 syllables. Gerard has been featured this year as Songs of Eretz Poetry Review’s Poet of the Week with one of his poems appearing daily. He is the second poet ever to be so honored. For Huffington Post reviews, reading dates, publications and more, visit GerardSarnat.com. His books are available at select bookstores and on Amazon.