Archives for posts with tag: father and son

licensed katherine bernard Yip Choy
happy birfday to you
by dana st. mary

i washed and washed and washed
my hands because that’s what we do
now and sang a twenty second song
also, in my head of course, i sang
happy birfday to you because that’s
the way i have been saying it in my
head for like twenty years and i
washed and washed and sang and sang
and thought about yesterday after work
because i am lucky enough to still
have a job after work yesterday with my
son at the park even though we weren’t
supposed to go out anymore we
did to walk the dog and he asked me
how long it would be before he could
touch the swing set again or the slide
as he is just eight and monkey bars are
heaven to him and the look on his face

well, i had no answer and don’t make a
habit of lying to him so i just threw the
ball for elvis and hugged my boy and
listened to the ever rarer plane go by

in a very empty sky.

PHOTO: Playground closed due to Covid-19 quarantine by Katherine Bernard Yip Choy, used by permission. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My poems are written from the perspective of a hotel worker. I am the Chief Engineer at the PDX Embassy Suites and have worked through this entire affair with frontline customer service contact. I have used all the right precautions, I guess, because our family has been safe thus far, and my youngest daughter of six is immunocompromised, having Down Syndrome. I am not a hero by anybody’s yardstick. I just get up every day to go to work and provide for my family. Customer service is a lifestyle choice, definitely. We have had the honor of hosting first responders at the hotel. God bless them all.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: dana st. mary is a lifelong devourer of books and tall tales told by strangers, in odd places. he spent over 15 years as an alaskan deckhand on halibut, black cod, and crab boats. he spent twenty plus years as a traveler and inveterate storyteller. north america is his particular bailiwick.  he now sleeps in a bed, under a roof, with his wife (colleen) and two exceptionally handsome children (patrick and irene). Visit him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and youtube

Here at Home
by Dylan Ward

Take care, my precious son
Days blend together
In a different reality
Green colors our landscape again
Spring afternoons warm your carefree heart
The edge of the yard, woods beyond
Where your soul soars
Where your imagination runs wild and free

I see you
Fingers search for the center of the earth
You marvel at crawling critters
You wonder at the heavens in dappled sunlight
Rays of light to light your light
Your laughter is a treasure to behold

Ghost handprints upon the front door’s glass
Small affirmations of your presence
Small attests of childhood in a weary world

Happiness emits from your orange-peel smile
Cookies crumble in the corners of your mouth
Milk coats your upper lip in a mustache
Your joy makes my heart full

Be sad for lost soccer practices
Be sad for missing swim lessons
Cry for your friends at school
Cry for a time that makes little sense
Your sadness makes my heart ache

Here at home, I welcome you
When sun rises, when sun fades
Here at home, you are safe
Here at home, you are loved
I hold you in my arms
My precious son

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I don’t write much poetry. But these are strange times. This began as an essay that took on the form of a poem. My son has expressed a whirlwind of emotions over these days and weeks. This was my way of expressing our grief and joy. And it’s a small way to remember my son and his altered childhood during our shelter.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dylan Ward lives and writes various things in North Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in One Person’s Trash, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Split Rock Review, and elsewhere. He contributes as a reader for Flash Fiction Magazine. When not writing, he’s usually reading something with a strong cup of coffee, pondering the mysteries of the world, or dreaming of writing. You can find him online at and on Twitter @dylanwardwriter.

Generation Hat
by Mark Rawlins

“You’re not going out wearing that!”
said my son in disgust at my black trilby hat.
“But it’s cool,” I protest, “and stylish and neat,
and heads will turn as I walk down the street.
It makes me look cool, it makes me look flash,
and I wore one like this when I first saw The Clash.”
“The 80s are over,” he said with a glare,
“you’re past it and old, and you’ve lost all your hair.
Someone might see you, one of the crew,
and then they’ll all know I’ve got a sad dad like you.”
So my hat gathers dust on the top shelf,
and it only gets worn when I’m by myself
in front of the mirror, when I realise the truth …
It takes more than a hat to go back to your youth.

PHOTO: The author ranting in a hat, Write Out Loud Sale 2013.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was written during a workshop at Macclesfield Writers’ Group, where the stimulus was “an item of clothing.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Rawlins is a grumpy old git who is currently undergoing his third mid-life crisis. He writes and performs poetry in order to vent his anger and frustrations. He has performed his rhyming rants at poetry slams, open mic events, and anywhere else where they’ll let him, across the North West of England and beyond.