V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





After a long search we chose a new father.
From more than a hundred
letters of application and résumés,
we determined twelve
we wanted to know in careful detail.
From the dozen dossiers,
we chose a brace of five to speak to face to face.
They were all different.
One declared that he would be a real boss, a dictator.
We would always know exactly where we stood with him.
He didn't make the short-short list.
Another claimed to be a good listener,
but spoke mostly of himself.
His own work was obviously
more important than our well-being.
Though some of us believed he was our man
he too sank among the dossiers.

The one we chose seemed kind and gentle,
but with a roughish, manly edge.
And he looked like a father.
(We decided on gender as a pre-requisite—
we wanted a male—
but to be as objective as possible
we did not consider sex.)
Though when we interviewed we emphasized
we wanted to run things, as soon as he
was on the job a movement grew,
wanting him to assume complete responsibility.

© by Thomas David Lisk


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