[concerning fatherhood and self-destructive tendencies…]

Dad warned he’d never wake me
a third time on school mornings,
so when I resisted, could not bring
myself to rise and face those adolescent
days, he bombarded me with shoes
or rolled me out of bed with a lift and flip
of my mattress. Once, he poured
a pitcher of ice water the length of
my sleeping teenaged body. My father
was a lovely man but could not
suffer a boldface indifference to his
authority. So much goes unappreciated,
unheeded, unnoticed: love’s austere
and lonely offices
. But my dad was not
the common martyr. He craved
true tribulation, occasions to rise to,
or to be brutalized by, so he crafted
his own adversities, and overcame
them, and didn’t, and kept going,
made a misadventure of his life,
and of ours. Anything to ward off
the anonymity of the ordinary.
The dull day-to-day was his ruin,
but he wouldn’t let it be mine.

Steve Lambert was born in Louisiana and grew up in Florida. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pinch, Broad River Review, BULL: Men’s Fiction, Longleaf Review, Emrys Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, Madcap Review, Sky Island Journal, Into the Void, Spry Literary Journal, The Gambler, Deep South Magazine, The Cortland Review, and many other places. In 2018 his poem, “A Serenade for Larkin,” won Emrys Journal’s Nancy Dew Taylor Poetry Award. He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and was a Rash Award in Fiction finalist. He is the author of the poetry collection Heat Seekers (Cherry Grove Collections, 2017). He lives with his wife and daughter in northeast Florida , where he teaches at the University of North Florida.

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1 Response to [concerning fatherhood and self-destructive tendencies…]

  1. Pingback: Eunoia Review – Steve Lambert

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