for my father

You were the boy who dreamed of me, who promised not to raise me
as your father had raised you. You grew into the man who survived

a small town, the man who loved many women before my mother.
When I was a child, you gave me my life then saved it,

cooled my fevered body, threatened to hit me but never did.
Father, you are the chip I carry to make my back strong,

the man who knows the power of silence,

the man who taught me to keep to myself, never to rely on others,
to harness loneliness like a plow and make something out of hard ground.