Your song sang in my mind today.
I longed so to sing it with you.
It was one of your sillier songs,
and it rolled round and round,
like that toy train you bought for me
once, when I was five or six.
It was more than you could afford
and I soon disposed of it, as a child does.
I see you still, on that morning
you first walked with me to school.
New York City so slyly proud of
Autumn, it cackled in the painted trees.
We sang together then and loud
and made a spectacle of us, you’d say,
like Ben Hur or The Ten Commandments,
screened in Technicolor at our theatre
by the elevated train. We made so little
from it dad—I have just the memory.
My cousins, my children paraded to your
songs. I suppose they sing them still.
But time sings in a minor key, wrapped
in weariness, as in a concert hall,
half full, on a gray and rainy afternoon.
The movie theatre has closed for good now
dad. Others share the sidewalks and the sun.
I realize now after all these years of passing,
how much I took for granted,
and how little there is left of you
in the whirrings and stirrings of all
the lush, little lives of yet another spring,
and how very sad that must make me,
if it weren’t for your song.