Included in Express Yourself, Vol. 2, an anthology of poetry due to be published November 2007.

He was the essence, the seed, the unique ancestral root
From where my brother and I came, and our children too
He wasn’t tall, handsome, clever or, Oh, so bright!
But his calloused hands were caring when he touched me.
He was a plain man, simple as an essence is meant to be.

He never learned to dunk a basketball, putt little white orbs
On manicured green lawns, or bat and catch street baseballs.
He was too busy for that.  A hard-working family man he was,
Not a Hollywood-type hero or frenetic rock star.
He was the kindest man I ever knew, though I never told him that.

And never, while he was alive, I called him, to my regret, Dad!
My brother and I buried him in Tampa the winter that he died,
Under a makeshift green canopy buffeted by a freezing wind
The obese pastor in black belched his breakfast into the Book
Indifferently crass; so we told the pastor to go; we buried Dad.

At night, sometimes, I listen to the wind and remember my Dad:
His forehead icy cold on my lips in the funeral parlor,
The mumbling pastor, the green canopy flapping in the wind.
And I hope someday my own children will think of me, too, like that;
And hearing the wind, stop what they are doing to remember their Dad. 


David Pereda