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My Father, Ahab's Son

he said don't ever ask again,
but yes -- my first father's dead.
he was a Navy man who
fought Germans in a tin can
there's his uniform dress hat:
look, but don't you touch.
which is why
mother was so mad when she caught me
playing Ahab with daddy's daddy's cap
and fighting Germans in my toy box.
i asked dad later how the
good sailor met his end;
i envisioned the S.S. Dreamer
wracked by bitter fusillade
and a stiff-backed Captain (little) Nemo
at attention unto a watery grave.
and dad wept;
surely for
the good Captain's honor.
but mother told me later, daddy's dad had had
a taste for liquor,
and while driving his trucker's line,
had a few to drink, fell asleep
and broke a guardrail's spine.
he'd left poor dad just a mother,
who remarried to just a monster,
a new father that spat insults
while watching from baseball stands
a man who always said 'not good now, not good ever.'
a little, little man called Jim.
and now nineteen years grown, I wonder:
if the Captain had stayed dry,
and made his route in time,
perhaps father wouldn't have fought so hard
to keep me between the lines.

7 Feb 07

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comments? gee, just an 'i read it' would be great at this point.
 — brianuxo

I read it.  I'm thinking.  I'm mixed up with which is your father, which is the step-father and if there are actually 3 fathers in this or it just seems as if there are?

Did you mean to say daddy's daddy's?  Grandfather's?  Is that it?  There are 3 men and you?  

It's a little convoluted but there are some good lines, especially the first stanza.

By the way, you only posted this today, don't expect a poem to always be read the same day.  Sometimes, it takes weeks to find eyes.
 — Isabelle5

it's a story about my father and my father's father (grandfather)... from what part did that get confusing?

and i've been reposting it for about two weeks now... it's not new. the eyes have been slow. but thanks.
 — brianuxo

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