“Ceremony” by Christopher Millis

 This poem is a Poetry on the T selection.

Ceremony

Poster  Christopher MillisMy father fishes when he’s out of work
so early that he cannot see
his lines cast out into the dark.

He light a cigarette, a spark
sets scales off in the sea.
My father fishes when he’s out of work

and tries to wake me with a jerk
to the shoulder. “Get up,” he coaxes softly.
His lines cast into the dark

where I’m dreaming like a shark
cuts water. He waits until I’m ready.
My father! Fishes when he’s out of work!

As if by ceremony he could shirk
his sleepless night, or convince me
his lines cast out into the dark

amount to something more than a mark
on water, more than a plea.
My father fishes when he’s out of work
His lines cast out into the dark.

 

Christopher Millis‘s writing has been published, produced and broadcast widely in the United States and Europe. He has authored three books of poetry: The Handsome Shackles (2002,) Impossible Mirrors (1994,) and The Diary of the Delphic Oracle (1991,) and his poems have been featured in numerous magazines and anthologies. In 1994, his translations of the Triestine poet Umberto Saba appeared as The Dark of the Sun (University Press of America,) and the first of his acclaimed translations of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, “Requiem for Mohammed Al-Dura,” was published in The London Review of Books in 2000. His translation of Darwish’s “I Remember al-Sayyab” appeared in 2004 in The London Review of Books, The Daily Star, and The International Herald Tribune.