Portrait of James Jasek, on Christmas Day 2018, made with a Graflex XL and Kodak Tri-X

He has always been there

Sailor tongued superhero

pockets full of dirty jokes

Each step of his was four

to little scrambling feet

My progress tethered to a pinky

Wait, Daddy

Powder kegs of emotion

I didn’t understand

where it came from, then

Punching holes in walls

His motor always running

never out of gas

Wait, Daddy

An industry of creation, exploration

The salvation of artifacts

in careful order

Patient with the process

of printing out light

drawing it from the darkness

Wait, Daddy

A love sometimes clumsily expressed

Expectations line a deep well

A big engine needs

a lot of maintenance

to keep the valves clean

to avoid a sudden stall

Wait, Daddy

He has always been there

A library of wisdom

close enough to call

bound with devotion

braving the distance

traversing zones of inspiration

Wait, Daddy

Ticking time bombs in the blood

I didn’t understand

the threat, then

Procedures can’t be panaceas

A locomotive interrupted

screaming wheels suddenly halt

Wait, Daddy

Dad, wait

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