Like some men
round up crab pots,
my father collects
body parts
from the bracken.
While crabbers
crack hard shells,
jerk out the
soft white flesh,
my father doesn’t
have to deal with
any carapace,
the meat already
soft and bloody
and pliable in his hands.
In other houses
in this neighborhood,
fathers provide
but one shell-fish
is like any other.
While in the dark gloom
of our family feasting room,
my father puts food
upon our table,
in lieu of grace,
quietly says their names.


John A Grey Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Connecticut Review, Kestrel and Writer’s Bloc with work upcoming in Pennsylvania English, Alimentum and the Great American Poetry Show.