Dad

Portrait of James Jasek, on Christmas Day 2018, made with a Graflex XL and Kodak Tri-X

He has always been there
Sailor tongued superhero
pockets full of dirty jokes
Each step of his was four
to little scrambling feet
My progress tethered to a pinky
Wait, Daddy

Powder kegs of emotion
I didn’t understand
where it came from, then
Punching holes in walls
His motor always running
never out of gas
Wait, Daddy

An industry of creation, exploration
The salvation of artifacts
in careful order
Patient with the process
of printing out light
drawing it from the darkness
Wait, Daddy

A love sometimes clumsily expressed
Expectations line a deep well
A big engine needs
a lot of maintenance
to keep the valves clean
to avoid a sudden stall
Wait, Daddy

He has always been there
A library of wisdom
close enough to call
bound with devotion
braving the distance
traversing zones of inspiration
Wait, Daddy

Ticking time bombs in the blood
I didn’t understand
the threat, then
Procedures can’t be panaceas
A locomotive interrupted
screaming wheels suddenly halt
Wait, Daddy
Dad, wait


This is another poem from my Medium archive. My dad had a massive stroke in 2020. It’s been a long road, and I am grateful to still have him here, but the truth is that he isn’t the same and I long for even just one solid minute with the man he used to be. I feel like that man is still trapped inside, dulled down by medication, scrambled up and confused by the mess his brain became; I wish I could reach in there and draw him out.

Thank you for reading!

Published by amyjasek

Film photographer, mother, positively passionate about life in general, Texan : )

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