Friday, February 12, 2010


Raising a family of ten
my dad didn’t have time for lots
of questions so when I was five
and asked, "Why?"

He said,“Before you ask, look around
and see if you can answer the question
on your own first.”

The mystery of god became the answer
for many questions, “Why is the sky blue?
How many angels fit on the head of a pin?”

but simpler questions like, “Can I go out
to play with my friend?” could be answered by
looking around and seeing that my mother
needed help with the younger kids and it would
be better to spend time helping her.

Or asking, "Can I have another serving, please?"
Seeing how many mouths there were to feed
the answer would be to find satisfaction with
what I had in front of me.

"What about all those hungry kids in China?"
Clearing my plate was not the right answer,
but one the nun gave to the kid in catechism
who bothered to ask it.

By the time I got to school my observation skills
were quite developed and I could deduct information
about a person’s intention as well as their health
and emotional stability, I could see things in their
faces, that revealed when they were lying

or under stress from physical duress.
I could anticipate when they wanted something
and if they could be trusted but if I had to ask
a question, it could be succinct,
cutting away the frivolous filler.

My Dad trained me to listen carefully,
watch keenly, and use all my senses
to distinguish information and to know things
without asking lots of questions.

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