• Keith Moul

"A Private Vocabulary"


My father acceded to death after certain miscalculations.

He received inferior instruction in an earlier mathematics,

the same as all of his contemporaries who lacked ambition,

those who were content to repair cars and play sandlot ball,

fall in love with a pretty girl the same way their fathers had.

While still alive, my father worried until mute over a dream

instilled in him that with only his father's stonecutter tools

he could not build, nor make real enough, a sustaining path.

I recalled earlier hot summers, as he cut our suburban lawn,

he muttered under his breath a painful, private vocabulary,

then watched me to see if I had been alert. I did not then

nor can I now know his secret, only that as I read his journal

in which he speaks to his young wife in naval jargon of a war

he suppressed the remaining forty-four years of silent life.

Keith Moul’s poems and photos are published widely. In August, 2017, Aldrich Press released Not on Any Map, a collection of earlier poems.


14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Two poems by Rizwan Akhtar

Behind Birds are Poems How birds choose to break the silence dropping from leaves of trees themselves so alone like unfinished sentences trapped in the stasis of a fantasy unable to make its way and j

"Betty’s Current Status" by Paul Jones

I’ve got a boombox I bought in 1985. I only play two tapes, Beastie Boys and Nine to Five. I found it in the attic when I finally got divorced. It's the one reason I’m still alive. That and a cat name

Three poems by Kevin Roy

Godspeed I draw a tattoo of a vast octopus from Minoa on my flank, the sheltering arms, the eyes on eyes on eyes. Heat the waters until they roil in salt. Give me a mask and an oilcloth cape as I spir