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I think of you with tenderness that
seldom knew breath when you were alive.
Like tattered, yellowed leaves
images appear scattered across
the vast prairie of my mind.
Mom and I wait patiently at the East Williston station
where the 6:20 takes a brief bow before heading off
to another show-stopping performance.
Sometimes I wait under the station’s awning,
promising not to dance on the tracks where
I see armies of gray flannel felt hats; a tide moving to shore,
smelling of stale cigarettes and filthy newsprint.
Your disappointments, your exhaustion gives way as you lift me
and I giggle, my face poised above your own.
I peer into your velvet brown eyes, crinkling at the corners.
Later, your massive hands massage mine over porcelain
as thick snow-white lather soothes our intertwined fingers.
In the mirror I see your serious expression behind my smiling face.
Dad, do you see me?
I am thinking of you now
that never knew breath.
Copyright © Wendy Swift | Year Posted 2017