Questions About Courtship

Dear mother, I would like to clear up some things
about how you met my father because, let’s face it,
you don’t talk about it much. Perhaps I never asked,
but I’m asking now, so stop me if I’m wrong:

you met in a diner, and some weeks later, at a sock hop, I believe,
you danced with him, a slow bluesy number
performed by the school’s jazz band. I have always imagined
"Take the A Train" as the soundtrack to your young love,
but this detail most likely reveals more about my tastes
in big band numbers than it does about the night in question.

Advertisement

When the music stopped, he brought you a cup of punch then sat
with you outside as stars sugared themselves across the sky.
Later, he took you home, careful your pleated skirt was inside
the car before shutting the door. While driving, he told you

he’d have his own store someday, and when he thought he was talking
too much, he turned on the radio and sat quietly,
his hand on your shoulder, soft as a leaf. And that is where
my second-hand memory ends, as perhaps it should,
with you in a car, your hands folded into your lap,
my father listening carefully as you offered directions home.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 A photo panel shows Pennsylvania Bishops Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg, David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Alfred A. Schlert of Allentown, Edward C. Malesic of Greensburg and Lawrence T. Persico of Erie. The Pennsylvania attorney general released a grand jury report Aug. 14 on a months-long investigation into abuse claims spanning a 70-year period in the six dioceses. (CNS photo/courtesy of the dioceses)
The state’s attorney general said that his office’s two-year investigation identified 301 priests who abused children and more than 1,000 victims.
One of the leading novelists of our age on faith, fiction and his distrust of religious institutions.
James T. KeaneAugust 14, 2018
Panel members Ivor Frank and Alexis Jay at a public hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (courtesy of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse)
The new report finds evidence of appalling sexual and physical mistreatment of students as young as 7, as well as a culture of secrecy, at two abbey schools.
David StewartAugust 14, 2018
The Gospel calls on all of us to get past “analysis paralysis,” where direct action is always put off in favor of more research and discernment.
Mary M. McConnahaAugust 14, 2018