Forget about the drive, the backed-up traffic across
the bridge, the stop-start continuing for the four more miles
there, all the while the bone spur in the right hip stabbing
every time my foot presses down on the gas or harder still
on the brake so the pain goes down my ankle. And
then the roughly 30 minutes scanning for a parking spot.
Forget about what’s next — climbing five flights, cane
in hand for balance on each step at less than a snail’s pace.
Forget the accusations and counter accusations, the raised,
stymied, or suppressed voices swallowed in the darkness,
the harsh words replacing those that once were always gentle,
the goodbyes with a hesitant touch if any at all, the never
given invitations, the lack of understanding — all tearing the fabric
of love, until its threads were rent with few left to hold what’s there.
Then sing the smiling face of she who was born just
three months ago, the same age now my daughter was
when first, at the airport, she glided into my waiting arms.
Sing how she’s swaddled in her father’s arms, or
on the floor gazing up in wonder at the spinning colors
above, or swinging in and out of focus, taking everything in.
We discuss with detailed knowing how this came to be,
but that this ever came to be is still a mystery we stand before
unknowing, swaddled as we all are from the beginning
in the arms of what some call God. Just sing!
Don Lasko is a retired high school English teacher living in Hightstown. He holds degrees from Oberlin and SUNY Stony Brook and has taught creative writing and poetry at Summer Institute for the Gifted. He is a member of Nancy Demme’s writing group at Twin Rivers Library and of Princeton Pro Musica.