Praise song for my father

What I miss now is not the dark
it’s the light,
the cone of light from a table lamp,
my father sitting at the plain deal table
paying the bills in a shuffle of papers.
I see him drinking a cup of hot steamy coffee
staring out at the back yard—
it’s a September night
and I have to get up for school,
but I watch him—
running his hands through his hair
sipping the coffee,
as if he hears a kind of song
out there in the night’s dark,
a music only he remembers.
The night’s coolness
the sound of crickets
and the freights slowing
for the North Side loading dock—
helps him forget the bills, the work.
For a few moments
he sings the song to himself
and he’s far away.
Praise the early fall dark,
praise the cool night
that lets my father daydream,
singing his own song again.
Praise my father for the things
he gave up and lost,
and could not get back.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

U.S. Catholic bishops have issued a flurry of statements about the many executive orders signed by Mr. Trump.
Michael J. O'LoughlinMarch 01, 2017
If immigration agents show up without a warrant, to "tell them politely they cannot come on the premises, ask them for their contact information and tell them to contact the (archdiocese) Office of Legal Services."
Trump may have given one restrained speech, but Steve Bannon still hews to a vision of America under siege.
Jason BlakelyMarch 01, 2017
People are sinning and repenting of their sins all year round. So, why make a day of it?
Terrance W. KleinFebruary 28, 2017