Strondes

I’ve fallen way behind. This was published in The Evening Street Review a month or so ago.

Strondes


When we were eight

Eddie and I

would ride our bikes

to Canarsie Pier.

It was before the landfill

in Jamaica Bay

made for reluctant breathing,

and even before we understood

why our older brothers

would steer their girlfriends

there on weekends to watch

the submarine races.

We’d do a little fishing

off the pier,

but the first thing Eddie

always did was wave

to his dad

on the coast of France.

He swore he could

see him waving back.

Eddie never knew

the man—a Marine

who died as the first wave

struggled toward Omaha Beach.

Before that last winter

we would meet

every now and again

and Eddie would

always wave,

as if he felt the same

at 80 as he had at eight.

In fact, he told me once

he could see his dad

more clearly as he aged.

Today, on my way to Kennedy

I dropped off the Parkway

to meet with Eddie Junior

at the pier.

He’s an image

of his dad at 40.

He was waving

when I drove in,

his three kids were waving,

and when I joined them

it seemed the whole

world was waving.

“See your Grandad?”

I asked the brood.

“Yup,” they replied as one.

“Me too,” I thought, as eight year-

old Eddie, clear as a clockface,

waved from that distant shore.

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