Tag Archives: dad

Home Sick

He counts the squares yelling his wonder
Can you believe it, spring is in three days
Snow blowing past windows this empty day
All I saw, so quiet, while beneath the quilt,
That was a wedding gift from my sister n law
Giving comfort to this ailing stomach

His dad as excited as he that skiing will
Continue for another week, chattering
On about the new schedule after school
That now must include their favorite thing
The noise of shared excitement, and camaraderie
Their boisterousness a welcome intrusion

On a day of bad tv, reading, and solemn sleep
The woods out back still a lovely view of calm
Brown branches like powdered sugar treats
Messages from friends lamenting Easter eggs that
Will have to be hidden in the snow; the mess of it
Though secretly, I am happy my son sees it as a gift

Beware The Ides of March

Babe was a guy who owned a big tavern against a giant rock bluff in a town across the river from us
Dad took me there a few times, going over the bridge, sunshine becoming a foreign intruder when we opened the door to leave
My dad worked on the side bar-tending for Babe, that extra money probably a necessity for his family of seven with one on the way
Being only 4, I didn’t understand why this grown man was called Babe,
and I asked this man behind the big oval bar
He always gave me a kiddie cocktail, which sounded like kitty to me and I didn’t understand that either, he chuckled as I
Enjoyed the deliciousness of that red with the cherries and the orange slice on the teeny tiny colored sword that balanced across the top
On my tenth birthday my mom was still in the hospital with something they were calling high blood pressure
My dad took me to a supper club, just the two of us on a school night, and Babe was there
He joked around with my dad and laughed that my favorite meal was a bacon and American cheese melted on toast
Babe always seemed to be laughing, and as he left he said to my dad, “Beware the Ides of March with that one huh, Buck?”
I never seemed to get Babe’s jokes, so Dad explained that some guy named Caesar’s murder was predicted to happen on March 15th
Ides means middle, Dad said, and so some fortune teller told Caesar to beware the Ides of March
The fortune teller was right, and Caesar’s good friend Brutus helped to kill Caesar on March 15th
Babe was just being funny dad said, no one was going to kill me. Babe just likes to joke around
Being with dad, his only daughter, out where people always put a smile on their faces when they talked to him, was special
My Dad taking me to a restaurant all by myself on my birthday with my five brothers eating who knows what, at home, and Babe joking around
One of the best moments ever!
Even though I didn’t understand much of the joking, everyone was laughing, and it was my birthday
And I wasn’t so scared then that my mom didn’t get to come home for my birthday; like she promised

I Wait to Talk to a Teacher

We are both waiting, quietly observing
She calm, her coat zipped right to the top
Her pink suede boots with satin ribbon laces, dangle
Where is the aunt, her mom, maybe dad, today
The secretaries try the numbers, no answers
One mentions the books she can look at
Does she want to unzip her coat, another asks
You look uncomfortable with it up so high
No, it isn’t hurting me, see? Her chin held high
While she waits sweetly, her blonde curly hair
A wild frame for her little angelic face that stares
Straight ahead, what thoughts behind still eyes
Picking up a book she only holds its sleeve out
Where are the pictures she wonders aloud, not
To me specifically, just for anyone, she is now
Concerned about where they might be,
The people who love her, I touch the book
Explaining it is kept nice by that outside cover
She leafs uncomfortably through its pages
The phone rings, She’s right here, is the response
The secretary indicates, dad is out in the parking lot
Come on, says the secretary, I will walk you out to him
She doesn’t move. She stares ahead at the window
I see him now, too, a young dad smiling, amiable
They say, is that your daddy,
When he comes through the office door She turns her head, hesitates
Taking a big long look, she nods jumping off the chair
She is the sweetest little thing, I tell him
The secretary says, yes, I could take her home with me
Our reminders to her of her specialness, and to dad
Please don’t forget her someday when there is no
Warm office, lovely secretaries, and a mom who waits

They Called Him Buck

My dad, telling the perfect joke
A favorite bartender
He would be amused
So many colored liquors
Lining the back shelf now
His drinks amber, gold and clear
Creme de Menthe and
Sloe Gin the exceptions

My dad, his arm bent like
A wing holding his cigarette
Out the window, steering
With the other, loving his
Buick, Chrysler or Olds
Sales cases not car seats
Keeping him company
Always deep in concentration

My dad, watching television
John Wayne, Creature Feature
Maybe golf, football or fishing
Always calm then, unless
The Packers lost the football
Then he yelled from a dark place
Me quietly leaving, startling
Him to embarrassment

My dad, cooking meals
Perfect steak and burgers
Spaghetti sauce, marinades we
Couldn’t really appreciate then
French toast on lenten Fridays
The never ending crispy soft slices
Butter and syrup sliding in perfect union
With glasses of so cold milk

My dad, trimming the hedge
Arms persistently tanned
Extended outward for hours
In work appearing effortless
Swaying back and forth
Slashing into shape
The perimeter of
His domestic jungle

My dad, temper flaring
Against only himself
Evidence now he lived
In a prison of fear over
Standards of perfection
That couldn’t be met
Left to wonder of the origin
Answers long buried with him

My dad, in remembering
The great and beautiful
Ingredients of him, a recipe
He was given, then gave
My memory’s mixture
Grateful for the good
Now, as a parent, contending
In empathy with the flaws