“You are just like your father!”
My mother used to say
(insert a dab of guilt soaked
Oy Vey Eastern European
“You have this side
your father has,”
she would sigh in a colossal disappointment.
And I would walk around for days
and wonder just which side she meant.
Was it the side that would explode my father
into some random whistling outbursts,
which would silence him at our evening beds
So we could tell our stories, uninterrupted,
which would inspire him to compose poems about flowers
as he tracked the 149 types of tulips
in his gardens.
Or was it that other side which my mother
could barely stand,
the side which nastily possessed him
to lay the bathroom tile all crooked
for the seventh time
and then wear the wrong shirt for the family reunion,
or be blinded to the dirty socks
deviantly rolling on the floor.
So I would lay there
(as I still do)
I close one eye at a time,
look at the profile of my nose
to check which side looks
like my father.
To figure out which is my good side.
This looking at the sides
is curious indeed.
One side of my nose does look
quite like my father’s.
The other — like my mother’s.
Which probably makes me same as you.