My Father’s Son

Your brown and raisin foot is watching me.
It mocks my innocence and naiveté;
it kicks and pokes and jabs and pinches me,
with every move it labors bitterly.
It speaks in a stranger’s tongue, so wise and old,
the tongue of someone who has tasted gold,
but swallowed dirt instead, and never told
of pain and misfortune life could hold.

My brown and raisin foot once smooth and pale,
now cracked and aged with crooked dirty nails—
it tells your tales of forgotten cities:
strange women, crowded streets and darkened alleys;
of women who put this very foot and nails
into their mouths and moaned with ecstasy.

~ by Samantha Lê


First published in Corridors

Copyright © 2001 by ​Samantha Lê
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form, without the prior written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please use the contact form.

2 thoughts on “My Father’s Son

  1. Hi Samantha,
    The poems are heavy! Some are totally gnarly! (surf lingo) Some have subject matter that I hope isn’t inspired by personal experience by yourself, or anyone close to you, though I know some experience those sad things. The images you present are powerful, and sometimes frightening.
    My favorite poet is Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Are you familiar with his work?
    🙂 David


  2. Thanks, David. Since most of my poetry is focused on the human condition, I try to embody the experiences, whether they’re my own or others, so that the voice of the speaker is authentic. I’ve read a little bit of Yevgeny Yevtushenko because of his connection to Jean-Paul Sartre, who’s one of my favorite writers, but I’ll definitely give him a more thorough read now with your recommendation.


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