Looking at My Parents – by Cameron Morse

 

When I look at my father, I see a flower,
I see a barbarian who lived in Guam,
and ate McDonald’s for 90 days to file
for divorce. When I look at my father,
I see a flower wearing a straw hat, short
shorts and long socks, t-shirt tucked,
stretched over his paunch, I see a bottle
of wine with a hamburger for breakfast
before going back to bed. I see red
meat and liver-spotted hands.

When I look at my mother, I see the moon,
I see a beast who watches Call the Midwife
in her nightgown, indulging herself
and 16-year-old son with a weight problem
to Custards after a day in the office
listening to sex addicts and divorcées
before getting served on September 11th
by what she thought had been a roofer with a bid.
When I look at my mother, I see the moon,
haggard and luminous.

 

 

 

Cameron Morse lives with his wife Lili and son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri. He was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6 month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing program at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in over 100 different magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, and South Dakota Review. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His second, Father Me Again, is available from Spartan Press.

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