Music of our fathers

Man standing on the corner
in the orange shirt
and yellow pants,
how can you look so sad
in such bright colors?
You are gone
once I look back,
gone once
I’m banished from the patriarchy
of utopic myopias. Gone in the summer
when walls make way for my palms,
gone in the autumn
of men making girlfriends
out of pumpkins, gone in the winter
when the birds crawl inside my mouth
looking for shelter, gone in the spring
of mistaken old men
who think they’re blooming.
Everything gone,
poet gone, verses gone,
movement gone, monarchy gone,
mothers who nursed their sons
on all the wisdom needed to prevent a war
gone to drink cocktails
with all the repetitions of history.
Years ago, I worked for a credit card company
that lured millions into debt.
Despite company policy I was able to help hundreds
while my boss wasn’t watching, but the only debtor
I remember is the homeless teenager
for whom I did nothing.

About the Author:
Benjamin Schmitt’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Grist Journal, Solo Novo, The Monarch Review, Blue Lyra Review, Forth, and elsewhere. His first book was published in 2013 by Kelsay Books. It is entitled The global conspiracy to get you in bed. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife where he teaches workshops to both children and adults.