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David McCoy: Two Poems
Photograph | On Thinking About Washing Your Hair


"On the first day the families went to meet
the souls of the dead at the water's edge..."
                 —From David Hassler's poem, "O-Bon"


Over the last few years,
my mother has given me
photographs of my father
who died when I was nine.

When looking at them,
they evoke more the memory
of his younger brother—
who bears a striking resemblance.

At family reunions,
I am satisfied with seeing
my father in my uncle's face,
wondering only about his voice.

Did he, too, have that sweet,
gravely, West Virginia drawl,
or was it one of deep sadness
after spending months in Nagasaki?


After an afternoon of wine,
Jill began telling me
about her mother
who died when she was twelve.

"I would like to see
a photograph of her,"
I said, only to learn
that all have been lost.

Saddened by this revelation,
I found myself thinking about Japan
and the ceremony held each
year for deceased ancestors—

knowing that if Jill and I were to
ever travel there, we would walk
down to the East China Sea
to greet our deceased parents

(perhaps introducing one to the other
so to hear my father's voice)
with a request that Jill's mother
pose for one last photograph.

On Thinking About Washing Your Hair

The soft light of the moon
moving across a wheat field.

Poet's Biography:
  David B. McCoy is a social studies teacher in a township school near Massillon, Ohio. In 1990, he earned a graduate degree in Socialization and Personality Development from Kent State University. For 20 years, McCoy has run Spare Change Press, which in recent years has focused on publishing Solo Flyer and organizing poetry readings in the Canton-Massillon area. His most recent publications include The Geometry of Blue, Prose and Selected Poems (1995), and a chapbook entitled Rice Fish (1998).

© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.