“Do I make myself clear?”
she’d say, shaking her head
and her finger at the same time

“So that in the future you will…”
and I stood there and wondered
about my future that seemed so far

away from this endless diatribe
delivered for every foible of which
I had so many I gave up trying

Future? Doors slammed from poverty
until I stood on the loading dock
with my father and he said how

he didn’t have any money
to help send me to college
but that he believed in me always

so I put myself on a lumberng bus
rode two hours and climbed
worn stone steps of an inner city

junior college and simply told the truth
when the registrar came to inquire
how I didn’t have any money yet wanted to attend

clutched my high school transcript
a bit tighter, my letter telling of being
the yearbook editor, class president

found myself soon on work-study
carving a future from nightsjobsclasses
never saying no to opportunities

that arose unexpectedly like sunset
after a cloudy day this future
I could never have dreamed unfolding

despite missteps and later my daddy
coming to watch me graduate from a
state university wind whipping my blue gown

on a hot June day in front of another
stone building hope grown rock solid
as my daddy’s belief for my future.