My Father’s House
The house of my memory
is a semi-rural farm house
with musty smells of
old wall paper and indoor plants.
sitting at the dining room table
in pajamas and bathrobe
cigarettes and coffee
AM talk radio
at the agonies of the traffic report.
The house of my dream
is a different house
on a narrow fishing-town street
before great grandmother’s knick-knacks became
a part of frozen memory.
You are a boy
entering the magic door
winding up the attic staircase
the wood a lighter brown with hints of red
the steps twisting and so narrow.
The photograph is yellowed.
You are so delicate in your uniform
your China Burma India Theater patch
jumping out from small shoulders.
Your eyes are feeling something,
seeing something beyond you and me.
In the attic
rubber band model planes
delicate balsa stringers
with tissue paper skin
light as the still air.
And a homemade short wave radio set.
You hear the news
open that high peak window
and shout to the neighborhood
Pearl Harbor has been attacked!