Praise My Dead Father

gone thirteen years now

plenty of time for anger to subside, to

forget he never said I was pretty,

stop being wistful when

women talk about being

daddy’s girl.

he had many good qualities: smart,

hardworking, uncomplaining

generous, forgiving, energetic, funny;

he wrote poetry, collected

art, subscribed to the

Book of the Month club.

Praise him a self-made man

raised in a cold water tenement

on Delancey Street

so poor he slept on two chairs

pushed together

studied law riding the subway

on his way to sweep floors in a factory;

played ball on weekends; said

nothing came easy because

nothing came easy;

married my mother, always

congratulated himself for

winning her hand except at the end

when she broke her hip,

lost her marbles,

then he sent her to me; but the middle

part was great.

Praise him because

though he was a homely, Jewish guy

with kinky hair glasses

and big nose

he looked swell in a suit and tie

his sisters lined up next to him all

bouffant and manicured:

a success story and well deserved.

Praise him even

if he wasn’t that crazy about me;

who could blame him

I’m not that crazy about me either.

About Karen To and Fro

Everything you didn't want to know about me!
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