An Online Literature and Art Journal

Fore and Aft

By: John Cruze

my father picked over
the apples and picked
the most picked over
part of his life-long salty
tilt into the wind

he wanted us to believe
we imagined this part of him
conjured it
like the constellations
he brought to life

but for us
whatever it was
something rubbed off
on the other apples

something forlorn
not martyrdom
not self-righteousness.
not pride

his pride came into view rarely
almost against his will
when he gave voice
to certain places in the world
he’d been privileged to absorb
through his Navy uniform
ports of call he revisited
and romanced on his library card

he crossed my mind this morning
as I left for work
in the dark
as he had

I took an overripe banana
left the others for the dreamers



John Cruze’s work has appeared in WORDS (Thomas More College), For A Better World – poetry and art dedicated to themes of peace and justice and Express Cincinnati. He is a hiker, poet, photographer, mediator, teacher, trainer and proud member of the Greater Cincinnati Writers League whose members have midwifed much of his poetry.