In Our Eyes

By Eric Greinke

My father died looking in my eyes.

He was fifty-four.  I was thirty.

He’d collapsed on Division Avenue,

walking home from a party store,

his bottle clutched in a brown paper bag.

The hospital called me at work,

I was the last to arrive.

When I got to his room, my sister & brother

made a place for me by the head of his bed.

“He’s unconscious.” my mother said

as she leaned against the wall.

I looked at his closed eyelids for a moment.

He opened them, & gazed deeply into mine.

He squeezed my hand once, then his eyes

rolled up to show the whites.

Everyone there cried, except for me.

I didn’t cry for ten more days,

until the night my first son was born.

My father never saw my children.

I went home, alone, the night the first was born.

I sat in my attic & cried through the night.

I wept for both birth & death.


At the funeral home his mother & I sat

on a red love seat & she saw into me.

“You look more like your father

than ever before.” she said.

“It’s in your eyes.”


Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei (which includes Lone Bones, published in this issue of Forge for the first time).

Comments are closed.