I see you sit there, still, upon your shelf,
the usual alignment speaks of ‘himself.’
An enigmatic opus to your worth,
the outward sign of years-old skin and scurf.
Made of tortoise-shell when things were so,
two teeth broken, ‘though I think he knows.
A sheen of Brylcream is the sign
that you’re still in use, though it’s such a crime.
I pick you up, and straightaway I trace
the curve of leaf carved neatly, and with grace,
and smell that mix of oil, and hair, and skin,
that speaks to me of the man within.
The memories invoked of ‘Father Dear’,
bring back childhood angst, and some small fear
of power over life, and over time,
‘though with tables turned, it’s almost too sublime.
Written 2009. Published with Poetry.com, 2013.