Daddy’s Missing Photo

With ten grandkids and oodles of greats, who knows
which child needed one more story for show-and-tell?

You were looking fine: blue suit, peacock tie,
leg up on the running board of the new Model-T.
You stayed under forty miles an hour for the first
thousand miles to break her in, like a young colt.

In the black-and-white photo, your right arm
lays on the hood, probably still warm from your first ride.
Your left hand grips your thin waist, a grand city dandy,
your white fedora is pushed back like an
eagle-eyed farmer’s when the sun is out of his eyes.

Did a secret admirer receive a chaste gift,
Or did Mother’s frustration with your old-age
dementia rip her favorite picture from the album?
She told my older sister, she hoped I’d quit asking.
She stopped calling you ‘Denzle’ in her diary.

But, down in the Keys, she screamed for us to, “Stop the car!”
At eighty-six she ran to a wood railing near the ocean.
“Daddy fished here,” she said, remembering the man
she’d loved for over sixty years.

Ann Arbor City Club Poetry Signature Group

One Reply to “Daddy’s Missing Photo”

  1. What a sweet testament to a father! I love looking at the old photos of my dad and mom when they were younger. They remind me of the typical 50’s couple!

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