my father moved through harm of laughter


I used to write a lot of poetry. It was my main way of coping with my dad’s death. This evening, I happened upon my old portfolio. I found hundreds of poems… from when I was ten to when I stopped writing at about nineteen. Poems about depression, happiness, hope and anxiety. It was such a wonderful look back on my emotions & everything that I’ve been through. But my absolute favorite poem was one that I wrote when I was fifteen about my dad. It was inspired by E.E. Cummings’ my father moved through dooms of love. One thing that I didn’t even realize, until tonight, was that E.E. Cummings wrote this after his own father’s death. Mind blown. This poem is my favorite because I felt like I was able to describe my father in the most vivid way possible. Enjoy.

my father moved through harm of laughter

my father moved through harm of laughter

through duty of charity through need of release,

laughing as we woke as we fell asleep

my father moved through cheer of sadness


this strength he bared

though apparent and hidden

would break the sturdy tree in half

a glance of his eye would tear its roots


fresh and new though older than most

was the person who, since late october

planted feet in air firmly on ground

raised feet on ground to touch the air


and should a child start to weep

my father could sing her gently to sleep

but he kept his wisdom at a hush

though he knew how a rainbow could cry


Tearing the grass from a desert

my father moved through victories of defeat;

praising the day each sunset promised

preaching one’s dream into life


humor was his song and humor so raw

billy crystal would bow at the presence of a joke

and humorous so now and now so humorous

belushi would cry from one word


quick as a shooting start more quick

smart though not bearing a degree

so strictly(and rather apparent

to both of us) stood my father’s words


his skin was skin his breath was breath:

no unhappy man but one wished him happiness;

no mute frog wouldn’t croak

endless hours to hear one joke


a man just like any man

but a smile that put pearls to shame

his sweat smelled no glory in it

yet the work he put in was idolized


his parents were irish and damn proud

yet he was jamaican puerto rican italian

he had but four children to his name

yet a handful came with the new sports season


very careful, never foolish in risks

since he was grateful for being forgetful once

his care was not enough to save

for it was another who killed him


i am now moved through guilt of innocence

through a life of death

through failure of success

yet through humor i feel alive


and nothing quite so least as truth

–i say though carelessness is why i hate–

because my Father lived and entertained

the world will laugh once more.

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