Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Sudden Change of Seasons

A Sudden Change of Seasons

My father disappears
in stacks at a crowded bookstore.
The aisles echo,

now oddly empty.
Calling his name,
searching in ancient

Greek and Latin, in Shakespeare
and George Bernard Shaw,
my mother and I bump

into each other
It is later
than we thought.

We missed
the downtown bus.
Eat lunch and wait

in the sun.
Between planters of petunias and golden
honey locusts, we watch

for my father.
I think I see him,
an anonymous man

in a brown felt hat
and trench coat flapping
headed our way,

books tied in twine
and brown paper. The city bus
blocks him from sight, won’t stop

when I try to flag it down. When it is gone
without us, my father is gone
again, too.

I think he’s vanished
into the city until I spot him

with a group of children,
running up the snowy hill
with an air mattress.

He turns, waves once,
and continues on
without us.

Mary Stebbins
060318 this version (see earlier)

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