Friday, January 23, 2015

My Old Man

Took my first breath where the muddy Brazos
spills into the Gulf of Mexico,
and the skylines colored by the chemical plants
put bread on the table of the working man.

Where the working man does his best to provide
safety and shelter for kids and a wife,
Give a little of his soul every day,
making overtime to keep the wolves away.

I was barely thirteen when the company man
tried to dig my Daddy's grave
It happened on a French-owned tanker ship
spilling poison into Galveston Bay

Where the liquid fire filled his lungs and his eyes
silenced any moans or cries.
The cold and the grit, death, sting and pain
He fought like hell to keep the wolves away.

For the next few years Dad was sick as a dog,
but he made a recovery just to spite the odds.
Settlement came and we moved out of town
where the sky isn't heavy with refinery clouds.

Yeah he's still alive he's doing good, he's in his fifties
but the money's running out and he's pinching for pennies
so I'm going for broke with every song I play,
cause now it's my turn to keep the wolves away.

- Uncle Lucious, "Keep the Wolves Away"

In my rebellious teen years my Father never could understand my desperate need to chase after every next midnight adventure, to get out of that house, to escape that godforsaken town. He epitomized everything about that town I never wanted to become. It is only now, grown older, wiser even, that I realize my Father is probably worth a hundred of me - a better man that I could ever hope to be.  Not only a better man than me, but damn certain better than every job the Motor City ever gave him. 

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