Sardines, Salmon, Baseball Bats
by Mark Fleisher

I miss the “big” stuff
The unconditional love
The unwavering support
The life lessons penetrating
my sometimes thick skull

But you know what—
it’s the “little” stuff
remembered more than the rest
the “little” stuff I miss most

I miss the sandwich concoction
sardines, red onion, Swiss cheese
found only on your menu
I miss the salmon croquettes
dredged in matzoh meal
bathed in butter and sizzling
in the frying pan before
slapped between the halves
of an Arnold bun and
wrapped in aluminum foil
accompanying us
to ballgames, the beach,
and boat rides up the Hudson
I miss the softball games
under the Queensboro Bridge
even when the inaptly
named Tiny shattered
my prized black ash bat
I miss listening to voices
from faraway places
on our shortwave radio
I miss your silly sayings like
you can’t bounce a meatball
pants must have pockets
I miss you leaving people
wondering when you called
your sons by their initials

Yes, Dad, I miss you

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