When your dad is the smartest man in the room
Each day, the fuzzy outline of your childhood
invites you to stand in front of yourself
and touch yet another part of your life.
All you can find are pebbles
rubbed smooth from years
of his fatherly consideration.
Sometimes, you remember to check
that question you’d kept hidden from him.
One day: look! It’s filled with an answer,
shining red and new as blood.
Now you’re sturdier with a wisdom
where longing used to be.
You’re a little closer to the sky.
But wait -- the hand
holding the answer isn’t yours.
Older, haired, rough,
from a time when people built with wood.
Catherine Martin is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. Her work has appeared in Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, the Superstition Review, 5x5, Drunk in a Midnight Choir and others. A writer living with mental illness, she focuses on how stereotypes of the mentally ill have affected her family and the larger community. These poems are excerpts from her forthcoming manuscript.