Archive for April 6th, 2022

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

“What a Man Wants Is the Power to Name the Terms of His Rescue” by Ray Gonzalez

“What a man wants is the power to name the terms of his rescue”—Stephen Dunn

If I had that power,
I would have rescued
myself long ago and
my private landscape would
remain mountain and sky.
These are terms I can accept,
not tell anyone I am growing
stronger each day, the dirt trail
never leading where it should,
people vanishing from our lives
so we can steal their power.

If I had that power,
I would measure how
much strength I stole from
my father who just died
without saying a word to me.
He was learning to rescue himself
because the most beautiful thing
I can recall are my working father’s
worn shoes at the foot of his bed.
That beauty reflects in the sentence
I wrote with my Parkinsons hand,
not on the page, but in punishment—
a sentence for the power of rescue,
a silent manner of living without shame.


Date: 2021

By: Ray Gonzalez (1952- )