Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
I thought of my father, how he matched with care
Grain of the wood to grain, and signed his name
Back-hand and black, and how he combed his hair,
Or coughed. I thought myself the same,
Combing my hair our name gone gray in the glass.
I heard my father's breath in my chest and throat.
I thought of his right hand, now that my hand has
His clench and thumb the way he wrote.
But the white pine he worked for shelves for books,
Tight at the corners, smooth under level light,
I never could handle as he did. Then he looked
Out of the mirror, and I knew I might.