Chuck Joy

it’s not easy
a poet for a dad,
(ask my children) but
they have no idea what it’s like
when the poet dad is Billy Collins

step-dad, really
after we lost Charles Bukowski
and before that my mom had a female partner
so long ago I don’t remember her name
(maybe Diane?)

the hardest part
Billy Collins being my dad
is growing away from him,
I could be Billy’s little boy forever

sometimes it’s easy
surprisingly easy
as easy as opening a book,
a certain placement of the hands
the simple turn of a wrist

look, it happens all the time
look here, and here:
Dad starts a line with a preposition,
don’t ask me why but I, the son
won’t do that

(okay, I’ll tell you why,
a leadoff preposition violates the integrity
of my idea of a line)

CHUCK JOY is the author of several collections of poetry including Percussive (Turning Point) and Theme of Line (Red Giant Books). Chuck lives in Erie PA with his wife Dawn. More at