Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash


Terry Bain
Oct 30 · 2 min read

I dreamed up
an anger for my father
without reason, could not
say neither now or anight
what made a bile
belly full — oh
— was I angry. So shall I manufacture
a proper homegrown folk expression
for my rage, make it incomplete
, a lie?


in silence, my begun thought
through the wooly morning snow:
“I should call my dad today.”

I don’t have to tell you, do I,
that my father died the year past?
You saw that coming. You
camped near where
this revelation would come, awaiting
words that set themselves in place.

(Near the end somewhere,


Picture my attempted
portrayal — this morning
— on which I remember anger.
See me (do you see?) alit with
lines before a classroom of
laboring students
tasked to an analysis
of a book of wit, of illness
and intemperate anxiety
, of jokes and forsworn
suicidal ideation.

clockward. Yes I have let slip
too long the time (my students)
a cold flame of madness
driven before me, not yet prepared to
re-enter an other author’s precipice
, or am I?

Then again, I woke.

I did not finish, of course.
These lines come new later, a
cream-colored rectangle of solitude,
where flame runs still colder
while streaming Stars on 45
it is the memory that
this is.


Even so, not the point. The point:
I have a new pen today, and I
set myself to begin something
, written by hand by
yellow legal pad,
optimistic I will last
as long as the ink reservoir
, that this will serve
as a call to my father; not the one
I ended up with sumberged

in the last years of his life, but
the one I remember sending messages
of first snow, a new grandson
, a child who knows the punchline
, the setup
of which: “Know what I heard?”


, the illusory one. The one I was angry
with. For dying?
For dying. But not recently.
This number. I am dialing it

Bucket Beret

Poems by Terry Bain

Terry Bain

Written by

Author of You Are a Dog (Crown) & We Are the Cat (Crown). Writing teacher in Spokane. Full of the dickens.

Bucket Beret

Poems by Terry Bain

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