Fall 2009, Volume 7

Poetry by Daniel Romo

Fellow Man

The weathered cardboard sign was nothing novel.
Neither was the location at the Carson exit
Off the 605.  But his message was.

Help laid-off father.
Fresh, ice cold bottled water.
Only a dollar.

I immediately admired him
For the candor of his words.
And for his boldness utilizing
Assonance in a haiku.

The rain wasn’t predicted that Father’s Day.

I’m certain the man and his dad
Went fishing in the Potomac many years ago,
The man a young boy filled with dejection
As the uncooperative worm,
Not wanting to die,
Squirmed off the hook countless times.

I’m certain his father
Gently grasped and lifted his son’s head,
Looking the boy in his eyes
The color of anticlimactic sunrise 
Telling him not to give up,
The worm would soon tire,
And have no choice but to sacrifice himself
So his son wouldn’t die
Such a slow, writhing death.

Because the man paced the embankment
Waving frigid bottles next to
Unsympathetic thunderclouds
Baiting motorists stopped at the red light,

While drivers nervously fumbled
With their presets,
As if they’ve never been thirsty,
In all their lives.


BIO: Daniel Romo teaches high school creative writing, and lives in Long Beach, CA. He has most recently been published in Poetry Superhighway, Chickasaw Plum, and The November 3rd Club. He is a MFA candidate at Antioch University Los Angeles, and thinks gray sky the utmost inspiration.