In anticipation of the upcoming release of my novel, Call Me Daddy, I asked for stories about family: the fun, the inspirational, the heartwarming moments that make us part of a family. Author and Poet Michael Meyerhofer shared a poem that will tug at your heart:
I bought a bag of all black socks
with my twenty-first birthday money,
thinking this would save me
from having to match them, sure,
but also the embarrassment
of wearing white ones to a funeral
like I did after my mother died—
same day my father
almost cut my left ear off
when I asked him to help me
remove the rusty latch of an earring
for years I thought was in style.
He couldn’t see straight,
didn’t even register my curse
when the scissors caught my lobe
until my brother stopped him.
Since I was already born
without a right ear,
for which I never blamed her
but now and again the ultrasound,
I’m grateful. My brother
tells me how he wore black jeans
to his rich girlfriend’s
sister’s wedding, how they laughed
so hard he had to spend
the next five years climbing
the economic ladder to Dewey Ballantine,
dinners under a ten-foot chandelier.
Today, at last, I throw out
that last pair, faded like old tires,
plus an outdated silk shirt
that reminds me of the dress
they buried my maker in. Sunflowers
permanently wrinkled by disco.
She looks lovely, said her old roommate,
blond with black eyebrows,
as she pulled me deep
into a Midwestern bosom
perfumed by the Dollar General,
so deep I wanted to cry.
And would have, had I been
brave enough to wear the grief
my mother earned—she who daily
tamed my cowlicks with a wet comb,
even after the milk dried
and I, insufferably ignorant,
stopped believing she was God.
Visit Michael's poetry website at www.troublewithhammers.com.
Visit his fantasy website (actually, not Michael's fantasies, but for his bestselling fantasy fiction) at www.wytchfire.com