Study Guide

My Father's Song

by Simon Ortiz

My Father's Song eText - eText

Text of the Poem

Wanting to say things,
I miss my father tonight.
His voice, the slight catch,
the depth from his thin chest,
the tremble of emotion (5)
in something he has just said
to his son, his song:

We planted corn one Spring at Acu—
we planted several times
But this one particular time (10)
I remember the soft damp sand
in my hand.

My father had stopped at one point
to show me an overturned furrow;
the plowshare had unearthed (15)
the burrow nest of a mouse
in the soft moist sand.

Very gently, he scooped tiny pink animals
into the palm of his hand
and told me to touch them. (20)
We took them to the edge
of the field and put them in the shade
of a sand moist clod.

I remember the very softness
of cool and warm sand and tiny alive mice (25)
and my father saying things.