A VERY SILENT MAN…by Charles P. Ries

How silent he was, my father.
I never remember him talking,
other than when he gave me instructions,
or reprimands about work.

How silent he was in prayer.
Every morning at first mass.
Every night before bed,
on his knees talking silently to his God.

How silent he was at work,
tending to his herd of mink,
like a sheep dog would tend his flock.

How silent he was at supper.
Eight voices clamoring, reaching, asking.
My mother filling plates like a short order cook,
begging him to “say something!”

How silent he was after lunch,
as he took his 30 minute nap
before returning to his mink,
his chores and his silence.

How silent he was with his rosary
woven between his fingers,
wearing his blue suit as we stood
wordless around his coffin.

3 Responses to “A VERY SILENT MAN…by Charles P. Ries”

  1. Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His narrative poems, short stories, interviews and poetry reviews have appeared in over two hundred print and electronic publications. He has received four Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing. He is the author of THE FATHERS WE FIND, a novel based on memory and five books of poetry. Most recently he was awarded the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association “Jade Ring” Award for humorous poetry. He is the poetry editor for Word Riot (www.wordriot.org). He is on the board of the Woodland Pattern Bookstore (www.woodlandpattern.org) and a member of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. But most of all he is a founding member of the Lake Shore Surf Club, the oldest fresh water surfing club on the Great Lakes (http://www.visitsheboygan.com/dairyland/). You may find additional samples of his work by going to: http://www.literati.net/Ries/

  2. i have a silent father too.. i have even told him outright that i feel as if i dont even know him.. he didnt understand how that could be…. beautiful verse…

  3. nice work

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