MY FATHER’S PORTRAIT

my father

fashioning on crisp white paper

the outline of an Egyptian

against an alley wall

half asleep

 

our migrant adventure

taken for granted

at the time

 

the scratch of the pencil

on his best cartridge

the only sound in the sunlight

 

then the subject stirs

spits and gathers his cloak   tight

over his shoulder and head

 

so simply the sketch is ruined

 

the pencil shades in the cloth

obscuring the outline underneath

like dust settling on memory

 

how soft the hand

holding the pencil

 

 

 

 

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