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Amongst a group of guys - John Grey

Amongst a group of guys,

when the conversation turns to fathers,

there’s always one who can’t believe

that the words “love,” “affection”

and “sure do miss the old man”

are being bandied about.

He grimaces at every recollection.


These others go on as if

trips together to the ballgame,

or fishing, or hiking,

are the rule

when he knows that,

if they happen at all,

they have to be the rarer exception.

As for the likes of

”he was always there for me,”

that one son

feels he’s about to split bile or blood –

he can’t tell one from the other anyhow.


The rest laugh at remembered jokes.

They smile warmly at hand-me-down kindnesses.

There’s no showing bruises or scars.

Or struggling to explain

their painful invisible brethren.

They’re too engaged in good times

to be heedful to his bad.


Amongst a group of guys,

when the conversation turns to fathers,

there’s always one who figures

somebody will be the odd one out.

It’s always the odd one out who figures it.


Bio:

JohnGrey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.

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