Ink: All He’s Ever Known

Liann Acosta Palmers, Poetry

My father made his body crooked
All his life to afford a smile on our face
Once made out of clay
Able to change his ways through trade
Now dried out
Leaving cracks on his forehead and forearms
Souvenirs of his journeys
My father made his body crooked
All of his life to afford approval
Support the family
Make enough money
Be the man of the house
Came too far from home to stop now
My father made his body crooked because no one ever taught him
He was enough
Without sacrificing parts of himself
His presence known at night
The deep sigh
The brutal bang of footsteps
As if the weight of the wooden tiles is the only thing able to hold him up
His red droopy eyes, reporting his lack of sleep
Despite it all
He finds it within himself to greet us with a smile on his face
Waking up the next morning to do it all over again
And he says his love for us
Makes it all okay
But I question, how much longer can he take before he breaks