Monday, February 6, 2012



Dear Dad,

The way you would hover in the attic and watch the neighborhood. Me coming home, or changing my mind about coming home, or talking on the stoop outside our yard. Some of them didn't want to go home. The way we lingered on that curb. Throned the fire hydrant, half swung our weight on the branches of the tree you planted, which was too young then to swing from. The passing fire trucks. The low riders. The old men with carts of wood and the younger men with boxes of copper. The mail carriers that rushed through on a quick foot. The people who thought of knocking, then thought better of it. The women with grocery bags, some of them with a limp. The young ones with their magic markers and cheap cans of spray paint. The little kids on tricycles with six house boundaries, moving past their marks. The birds and the fat, brown squirrels. The possums lingering with hung tails on the leaning fence. The hang of your music through the screen. How you blew filterless smoke through the open breeze.

Your windows have rubbed off on me.

Always.





2 comments:

Meg Waite Clayton said...

Francine, I just read your stunning poem - really stunning poem - that was awarded the prize my husband and I established to honor him mom. Clearly, it is not a one hit. Your words here are stunning as well.

Warmly,
Meg Waite Clayton

Jessica said...

Lovely poem; I enjoyed reading each word.