• Jørn Earl Otte

"Blue" -- April 16, National Poetry Month



The hydrangea

outside of my daughter’s

bedroom window

is the same color blue

as my father’s


when I found him

lying dead on our bathroom floor.


My son’s soccer uniform,

crisp and ironed and new

as this cold, windy Spring morning,

fits snuggly on his young muscular

frame. His arms are hairy,

just like my brother’s arms

were. The swimming pool

where my brother took his last breath

reopened without fanfare.



when I look at the way

my daughter's eyes disappear

when she laughs,

I remember my dad

telling jokes in two languages,

laughing big bellied beer breath

while the room swayed with joy.


Last month, my son

discovered his sweetness,

learned why his mouth

was as thirsty

as the angels

when their god has turned

the water into blood.


All of this is fine.

The squirrels are starting to emerge

on the three oak trees

in my front yard.

Father, son, holy mother.

My children jumped

in leaf piles beneath

the oaks, that first autumn

in our new home.


I love being a dad.

I loved being a son.

Tomorrow, I will

go outside, and I will

play games, rake leaves,

mow grass, stare at the stars.

I will hug three trees.

I will bow.

I will kneel.

I will remember.

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