Perry S. Nicholas
I am an Associate Professor of English at Erie Community College North in Buffalo, N.Y. I have 5 books, 2 chapbooks, and 1 CD of poetry. I am married to Maria Sebastian, a well-known singer/songwriter, and we perform our poetry and music together at many venues in the WNY area. For more information please visit my website: www.perrynicholas.com
The King of Comfort
I finally dreamed of you last night, father,
standing in front of Union Hall,
tapping a fresh pack of cigarettes
on your palm, patient and smiling.
You were in your comfort zone--
workers circling like subjects
around royalty, eyes upward
waiting to be told what to do.
I often wonder if you wanted
to remain a commoner, not forced
to become a king, family in tow,
from the time you wore short pants.
In the dream I had last night,
no one dared speak unless spoken to,
question your confidence and cool,
you who willed open the heavy, wooden doors.
Because You Said Not To
I drove your new car over
the center divide just for spite,
called you by your first name,
poked fun at your imperfect grammar.
Childish attempts at disrespect.
Because you said not to,
I lost myself in American ways,
played Elvis loudly in my room,
anything I sensed might annoy you.
You said not to drink, and I insisted
on growing up faster than I should have.
I perfected punishment, how
to hurt people before they hurt me,
how to use prose in place of blows,
and even now, because you said not to,
I don’t know when to forgive and forget,
or when to let go of this world gracefully.
©2016 Perry S. Nicholas
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