The Mistake

Here is an overgrown boy
who cannot hold
his sick father’s hand.

Mistake, he whispers
in the car.
I was his greatest mistake.
I cannot take
more comfort from the man,
and how could I offer him comfort
when my existence was
his greatest mistake?

Here is that careless boy
all the way home listening

to his car rattling like bones
dug from lost graves,
telling a horrid story
of imminent failure.

Mistake, he says.
This car was a mistake.
The breakdowns, the rattles,
the whistling in the trim at 
highway speeds. I am never
comfortable, never feel safe
on the road.

Here is a fretful boy — 
at once too old and too young for this — 
trying to think of his father’s hand
and how it would feel to be 
touched, to have his hair
stroked while someone
spoke to him of mistakes
and forgiveness, of 
how to forgive; of how

some mistakes
fail upward
in spite of themselves.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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