Poems and Poetry

father son relationship poems

My Sons | A Poem by J.K. Durick

1. The Older

We build a place, a common ground for
us to use to energize the topics we need
to keep the talk going. There’s a distance
we must travel each time. It frightens me —
the distance seems greater each time.

2. The Younger

And finally,
he’s learning
to be patient:
he smiles, nods
and then offers
to help whenever
I seem confused
— quite often now
I need this.

Walnuts | A Poem by G.S. Katz

I remember my father sitting at the kitchen table
Cracking open walnuts and eating every morsel
Dad was a good eater, chicken was his favorite
When he got done with half a chicken
It looked like a war had taken place on his plate
Bones gleaned of any meat
A spectacle to watch
We always kidded him about it
The walnuts though I never got
He drank celery tonic too
Another non-starter for this cowboy

I never felt like I knew my dad
He was always a quiet man
Gentle but firm, pragmatic as the day is long
I wanted to know him but I wasn’t allowed in
Four years behind enemy lines during WWII
maybe the cause
After he passed I found out I wasn’t the only one
to feel his silence
He was rarely mad
His favorite expression
“God forbid for worse”
He would say if we kids every complained too much

I gave the eulogy at his funeral
That’s what a son does
I was so honored to be his kid
Despite the distance between us
The love was there, my mom also telling me so

I’ve tried to make peace with walnuts
I eat them now for health reasons
I still don’t really like them
For dad’s sake though I feel him with every bite
I buy them already shelled
Dad had to do the work breaking them open himself
A decorated war veteran
It was like rolling off a log