Father and Son

My dad has never really been a serious person.

I remember during the tensest moments he’d pull his signature smile,
crooked front teeth with a chip and lopsided ever so slightly to the right,
Leading up to where his eyes wrinkled at the corners—
Even when he was a kid.

His goofy demeanor was in direct contrast to his powerful face,
A square jaw and thick dark beard,
His intense green eyes and a hooked nose that Curves to the right,
Just like mine.

Sometimes when the lighting was right he almost looked like me.

I didn't cry much as a child,
I was taught at a young age it didn't do much.
Not even when I got hurt did I let tears spill down my face,
Too prideful to give in.

Adults always expected me to cry and were shocked when I somehow didn't,
Like when I got my first stitches and the doctors were dumbfounded at how calm I was,
Or when I didn't flinch when falling from tall heights.

Another trait from your dad,
My family would say,
And I'd preen at the compliment.

But my dad did cry,
Only once.

In a car I don't recognize,
And in a voice I can no longer hear,
He cried.

He looked at me, and in his eyes I saw mine,
The same green.

I tried to hold back the tears clawing at my own throat and making my eyes go glassy.

My eyes were faced forward but I wasn't really looking at anything in particular.
A hand rested on my shoulder, squeezing softly.

I broke into sobs that swelled from deep in my ribs; I sobbed in that unfamiliar car,
On that unfamiliar road,
And in that voice I can't hear anymore.

My dad gave me a watery smile, crooked toothed and lopsided,

But his eyes didn't wrinkle.

I was holding back, and he knew because he was too.
We both cried there together,

He saw me and for the first time

I saw him too.
Written by Nixprty
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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