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My Father's Birthday

Ellen S. Jaffe
From:   Apparitions: visions from the millenium. Dundas, Ontario: Artemis Enterprises: 1997.


My Father's Birthday, four years after he died

he would have been 90 today
we could have celebrated in the garden
heard some Benny Goodman and Sarah Vaughan
eaten fresh-picked beans
watched the Rose of Sharon bloom
invited both of his sisters, his mother,
even his father (dead before I was born)
and he could have played tennis and ridden a horse
the way he longed to do when he was young
in hell's kitchen in New York City
and he wouldn't have forgotten his language
would have known my name without needing
to see it on flash-cards
my son (newly-licensed) would have taken him out for a drive
he would have loved that
driving down Fleeceydale Road, along Highway 2,
down to the turnpike and right into heaven
or wherever he is now, resting comfortably,
watching the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers
again and again and again
planting hearts like beans in the garden
watching them grow
secretly cheering for Sandy Koufax when he pitched
his perfect game
his perfect game
ended early
due to injury
he's somewhere up there with the all-stars
in the hall of fame
his broken body left behind
like a forgotten
uniform.




Ellen S. Jaffe's works copyright © to the author.


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