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Doug Holder

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A Thought On Father's Day
by Doug Holder

Sunday, April 27, 2003

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Recent poems by Doug Holder
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           >> View all 167

I read this poem at my father's funeral
on April 23 2003. Lawrence J. Holder was 86, and one helluva guy.

And yes
it has come to the time
when I see my father's face
in the mirror,
my squint is his
the nascent crow's feet
stretching into laugh lines
my angry brow
solicits the always surprising question
"What's wrong?"
"Why--nothing."
Didn't I always ask him the same question?
Do I find myself
praying over the New York Times
like a scholar over a sacred text?
A drink to my side
my legs crossed right to left
just like him ?
Was that him the other day
that reflection in the store window
slightly hunched
arms stiff
swinging robotically
clothed in Seersucker?
I looked back
but he was gone.
Was I chasing a hallucination?
Like him
I am drawn to the sea
to the sound of breaking waves,
on the shore-
to the eternal ebb and flow
to the primal smell of death and life
to the gulls sitting shiva
on the rocks
to the purple death
of the sun each evening
its bright rebirth
from the portals of the sea's horizon.
Who is this man I see?
It is my father
and it is me.

Lawrence J. Holder Jan 1917 to April 2003. * published in the Somerville Journal.

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Reviewed by Nicole Davis Vergara (Reader) 4/27/2003
Saddened reminiscing in a most beautiful way!
~Nikki~
Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader) 4/27/2003
Lovely tribute and sorry...
Peggy
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 4/27/2003
What a lovely tribute. A pleasure to read. How were you able to read it without choking up?
Reviewed by James David Compton (Reader) 4/27/2003
I liked this very much, Doug.
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do well, is to be your father's son.
-James
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