Saturday, December 18, 2010

Have I looked in my father's eyes

My father, Carl Barker
Deep, dark brown
More almond-shaped than any almond
Short lashes loosely-covered with saggy skin

Reading, always
Anything and everything
Day into night, sometimes into day again

Stories of rugged cowboys with guns and sweaty horses,
County, back-woods postal addresses
Political commentaries, Sunday color comics

Birmingham News
Sports section first, forever and amen

Disease-invaded like an army
He fought them all with force
Passed away one night while praying that he'd continue to live

We learned what was possible
Through salty, hot tears
And smiled with happiness at the irony of his gift

Corneas, still healthy, searching for more
Traveled to someone unknown
So that they could see, they could read

Perhaps I, while on a journey to Montgomery or Mobile
Looked in my father's eyes
Though they were no longer almond-shaped and brown

They would have been reading
Anything, everything
Sports section first, forever and amen


  1. Absolutely beautiful. My dad had cataracts - was 94,so his eyes were cloudy but they were bluer than ever on the night the angels came to get him. Beautiful Italian with blue eyes and blonde hair.

  2. Oh, Becky, I loved this! It brought back memories for me . . . the nights I spent at your house, the bar-b-queing in your back yard, your dad teaching both of us to drive (now that took a lot of bravery!), our many days spent with friends under the old oak tree. Little did we know how important those days were and how our experiences in little Carbon Hill, Alabama, made us the ladies we are today. Thank God for the parents that we had. Not everyone was so blessed.