My Father the Ceiling Fan
Dark wood and bright brass,
a still cross or propeller,
the fan I watched
hang from my ceiling
for years is my father.
Glad for our existence,
we stare past homely walls,
ignore who we are, center
on something under stars.
I killed him once, my father,
with anger hammered into a tree.
Surely that let him know me.
Since he died, I don’t hate him,
rotten fruit that spawned me.
My ceiling fan doesn’t have
a bald head and greasy neck.
It is elegant, a hand me down.
My father wasn’t elegant.
I looked past him most
my life. I find that sanity
kills our Satans and death
kills our devils, but
love lasts, laughing.
The same wind that pushes clouds
across the river clears the sky.
The yew and holly dip and drop
caught snow. The wind blows
straight over a curved plane; hope
mixes with futility, colors on a palette.
The day seems to move, or does our planet
wobble, diving always out to space,
drawn back in by gravity? It’s serious,
this mill. We infest and call it glorious
existence. It is both depravity and joy.
I do not live by life alone, growth
and atrophy. Without the finite soil,
the beaches, canyons, mountains, space,
I am not fed. Allowed to prosper
through these seasons, we erode
but we are filled with possibility.
More than that: actuality, a force
so massive that it doesn’t move,
a cloud containing wind, that
shifts and folds back on itself,
the kitchen counter, bowl, and spoon.
Rae Cobbs is a prolific published and performing poet, educator and freelance writer in Louisville, KY.