Recollections of My Father
At twelve I watched for him in winter dusk,
A weary figure leaning into wind,
His black lunch bucket clamped beneath his arm.
At seventeen we stalked November fields,
Culled pheasants from rows of dried corn stalks,
The only dialogue our twelve-gauge guns.
The space between us grew as we grew old.
We talked of weather and of baseball games,
Our private thoughts kept safely locked away.
Three days before he died I came to him,
His skin transparent, fierce eyes filled with pain.
We tried to speak but habit held our tongues.
Today, I stand again before his stone.
Chiseled names stretch down to the river’s edge,
The rusted rails and empty shops all mute.
A sudden slant of sun and I recall
When I was four, on a bright Easter morn
He carried me through the green grass of spring
To find a blue egg in a hollow oak.
Gene Kimmet is a retired professor of economics from Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.
He was born in Lima, Ohio, a town with a long history of heavy industrial production. Kimmet worked at a variety of jobs there, including lens grinder, foundry worker, service station operator, and salesman, before receiving a BA in economics from Ohio Northern University. He later earned an MA in economics from Case Western Reserve University and a post master’s degree in economics from Northern Illinois University.
Kimmet has also done extensive graduate work in English and creative writing at Northern Illinois University and the University of Virginia.
His poetry collections include Recollections of My Father (Canopic Publishing, 2015), Skipping Stone (Dream Stone Press, 2000) and In Fee Simple (Stormline Press, 1986.)