Comment on this article

For My Dad
by Mary Eliza Crane

The woman who cleans my father's house
stopped by today with her boyfriend
to fix the front screen door.
I bought the parts but
there were no tools to do it myself.
In eight decades Dad memorized all of Shakespeare
but never learned the difference
between a hammer and a drill.
Learned that you can fix a life
but never that you can fix a door.

Shauna tells me she likes to read
the spines on his books while cleaning.
She wants to borrow some
but has been too shy to ask.
She doesn't know the Pepsi in his fridge
he buys for her.
Dad knows she likes to drink one while she's working.
"Go ahead," he says, "read them all if you want.
I won't be needing them back."
She wants to read the ones about the church.

Dad hands her the morning paper
with hands that no longer shake.
I like the letter better than what inspired it,
last week's front page article.
The old lawyer finally retires.
Made no mention of terminal cancer.
The letter spans the gap from drunk to sober
and calls him a survivor,
yet when speaking of his goodness
makes no distinction
on which side of life it falls.

"Have you seen this?" he asks.
His eyes hold the delight of a child
and his voice the wonder
that he is this well loved.

What I Can Hold In my Hands by Mary Eliza Crane,
Gazoobi Tales Publishing 2009.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]