Most of us grow up with a complicated relationship to our fathers, that figure of power in our lives who is often absent at work, who most of us try to impress and many of us have difficulty communicating with, who nonetheless makes a profound impression on us, one we sometimes don’t fully appreciate until he is gone. With Father’s Day approaching, the following poem touches on the feelings evoked when we pick up one of the tools of his trade we might have found in a box in the garage, and the memories that awaken. Hope you all enjoy this Memorial Day weekend.



So convinced of the existence

of a rattle, my father made

my brother kneel in the back seat

of the Buick and move the stethoscope

across the window, the top of the seat,

the ledge below the glass,

as they drove around the neighborhood.

Nothing came through the long black tube

but my brother’s fear of  being seen.


Alone, stiff in the vinyl chair

at the bedside, my mother knew

the moment of my father’s death

without a stethoscope. Nor did

she ring for a nurse, but sat frozen

while the heating vent at the window

blew the curtains slightly.

Then she bowed.


I found his old one coiled in the cabinet.

I put it on as a curiosity,

listened to my heartbeat, then laid it back.

I don’t know what I’d expect to hear

inside the slide of my family’s breathing,

or what to imagine that doesn’t make a sound.

Where would I place that cold knob

to listen for devotion?

What would I set my finger upon

to catch the regular rhythm of hope?


Jack Stewart

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13 Responses to Memory

  1. Eileen says:

    This will be my first Fathers Day without my Dad.  It will be different/difficult to say the least.  I will speak with him on that day as I know that he is still with me.  I may share what I wrote for him on Fathers Day (years before he died) and read at his funeral.  Fathers and daughters have a different relationship as do mothers and sons.  Thank you for sharing.

  2. Marge says:

    Jorge, it\’s been years since Dad died; the wonderful poem you have share here brought back to me a flood of memories and with them, tears. All good.
    Thank you for that…

  3. Beth says:

    My dad has been gone a long time but I will never forget him.  Thank you Jorge for this lovely poem.

  4. Gayle says:

    Thank you for that poem – beautiful!  I\’ve been working on a piece about fathers since Mother\’s Day.  Hope your Memorial Day weekend is full of fun and laughter.

  5. Sarah says:

    Knock me flat with the Love here–great poem, Jorge.  Spirit watched it written and Spirit waits…….  Thank you for this.

  6. PJ says:

    Good Evening Jorge,
    Beautiful poem. This one "tugged" at my heart strings. You never cease to amaze me. Thank you.
    Take care. Until next time..Keep Smiling.

  7. Joe says:

    Wow.  What else can I say?  I\’ll think on that for a while.

  8. Michelle says:

    That poem was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.
    You are a great enrichment to my life. Dropping by your blog and reading your entries always warms my heart. Thank You.

  9. Betty says:

    Hi Jorge,
    Thank you for the lovely poem.

  10. the1stephzen says:

    Family deep…so much under the surface.

  11. Nina says:

    What a powerful poem…it evokes many memories and emotions! Thanks for visiting today!

  12. dawn says:

    hey Jorge,thks for your kind wishes, and as with always great post! i however, dislike biological issues cos its one of those spots that never fails to make me tear, *sighs?!*  :)))  anyways, its v.peculiar cos i saw this poster; a comic of this guy who was swearing under his breath whilst sitting on the couch with his dad that he\’ll never end up like his dad. but as i see it from the overall picture (the dad was oso on the couch) he was so exactly like his dad 😛 (lol) nature and/or nurture, again i wonder…have a great mid-week and a fatabulous Fathers\’ day! with affection, dawn

  13. Holy says:

    My daughter is collecting rocks as I type to bring to school to paint as offering to her Dad on Father\’s Day.  They\’ll be paperweights but hopefully, they\’ll lighten his day at work.

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