Instead of You Here

In your absence I have had to make do with the simplest
of dads: a wooden spoon pulled from its home
among the whisks and the loose-nutted pizza cutter.

The face I drew on the convex side is smiling.
Maybe it’s wrong of me to assume your happiness
Spoon-dad, but I hope you’ll be proud of me.

The pumpkin soup I make is delicious, you say,
and then roll your head in it. That’s the kind of support
I’ve always dreamt of. You are much deeper

than my real father: the bowl at the back of your head
could hold me forever, my body a precious egg
to be carried through the course of your life.

I know as much about my real dad as the cutlery tray
claims to know about me. When I open the drawer
and face the strict separation of silver, I become mindful

of neglecting the teaspoons. Out of panic I shout,
Yoghurt for everyone! and crack open a six pack
of fromage frais, planting the spoons in like flags.

Perhaps he has a spoon son, my other father, or a set
of spoon children. How polished he’d keep them, their own
special places laid out around the breakfast table.

 

James Giddings