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This Is A Poem For My Father
by Andrena Zawinski

...There is my past which is really past...
               --from There Is by Guillaume Apollinaire

There are my feet in cotton socks on your toes.
There is a Patti Page waltz, my wing bone arms at your waist.
There I am with you, bathed in light. I hold on tight.
       We are dancing.
There is long ago and long to come.
There is a flutter of leaves on a speechless breeze.
There is a wind moving in, in an echo of motion and chatter.
There are clouds in the sky I search for your face.
There are strangers a blur in the crowd, a hum heavy with voices.

There is who you have become, your face a face in the crowd,
      one of many faces
on a vendor selling lace from a stall at Les Puces de Paris Saint Ouen,
on the lips of a Tunisian eating chorizo in baguettes at Gare St-Lazare,
on the ferry captainís arms at Pont Neuf carrying me down the Seine,
on the soldier riding the train watching sunflowers grapple the fields,
on the old manís hands rolling balls across Coquille Square
on a gypsy boy I tossed coins for a look at your amber eyes on his face
on the Moroccan, Bastille Day, just off Rue St. Antoine. In the street,
      we were dancing.

There are words pressed into my fingertips brushing your cheek.
There is me missing all that you might have become. You are large.
There is you looming above me wrapped by your muscled arms,
      and dancing.
There is your heart beating hard inside my chest wall.
There is time passing through me like a conduit.
There is long ago. There is long to come.
There is this past that is really past.
There is me, suddenly without you.



Previously published in: 
Potomac Review, Tobacco, MD
and 5 AM #12, Pittsburgh, PA.---


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