My father was a swearing man; he spread profanity
the way some others smooth on crackers gobs of softened brie.
He did not care if ladies heard his salty words at all;
he did not care if children heard him and would start to bawl.
His language was invective of the Anglo-Saxon kind;
he used it like a butcher with a jagged axe to grind.
He was also racist to the depths of his mean soul;
his terms for other races would make Satan vomit coal.
His blasphemy was so intense, that priests and nuns retreated
from his presence when they thought his words might be repeated.
One day he stepped upon a nail while barefoot in the yard;
he then began a monolog that left the grass quite charred.
He cursed the manufacturer who made the blasted nail.
He swore an awful oath against the store that made the sale.
He damned to all perdition the careless fellow who
dropped the nail without a thought of those without a shoe.
He flung an epithet up to the sun for shining bright.
He wished the grass on which he trod to blacken like the night.
By now a crowd had gathered, and he cussed them out as well —
hoping he would see them all sauteed down there in hell.
His face became a thundercloud, his eyes were flaring lamps.
His spittle flew like spindrift and his fingers curled with cramps.
We never knew what evil words he could have finally cursed —
because he got so steamed up that he simply up and burst!
It rained down flakes of father for the next fortnight or so —
a kind of blizzard, with terrific obscenity-laced snow . . .