My Parents’ Faces

by Marjorie Thomsen
When it was my day to watch my father shave
what had grown in the night, I would try to guess
which color tie he would choose
to go with his new face.
If there was time, he would let me glide
a forefinger’s tip down one side,
make a landslide of lime foam, the bonus—
an i not dotted, an uncrossed t.
I must have been rooting for him
when I saw the strange way he had to twist his lips,
make a frown to avoid nicks, a deep cut,
all his contorting to save a face.
When those minutes were gone, gone as anything
I’ve ever known to be gone, I leapt from the lavette
to the bed where my mother was still asleep
so I could wake her, see her smooth cheeks
and recite the seven days of the week.
Marjorie Thomsen's poems have received awards from the New England Poetry Club and The Lucidity Poetry Journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blast Furnace, Poetica Magazine, The Quotable, Red Claw Press's anthology on Sleep, and others. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her family.

© 2013, Marjorie Thomsen