San Francisco, 1963

Mr. Gathercole was curious about
this business of me writing poetry –
it disturbed him.

He made it a point to have a talk with
me soon after we
were settled in.

He made it his duty, but never could
quite find the nerve.

From across the chest-high hedge that
separated our two small houses,
Mr. Gathercole just

smiled and nodded,
but behind the thick lenses of his glasses
churned the burning questions:

Was I a Communist
Was I a homosexual
Did I write those kind of poems that didn’t

Over the years he discovered that only
one of his suspicions was true,
but we never became friends.

Mike Faran spent his childhood in the UK. After his return to California, he served a four-year stint in the USAF and then went on to graduate from Cal State Fullerton. His poetry has appeared in Over the Transom, Rattle, The Comstock Review, Abbey, Ship of Fools, Atlanta Review, and Homestead Review. He is the author of We Go To A Fire (Penury Press) and is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

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One Response to San Francisco, 1963

  1. Yup. Identified with this one. Great poem.

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