Saturday, February 2, 2008

Richard Straw: BLESSING

"Son, I'm taking the last apple."

"Can we share it?"

After washing my hands, then the Granny Smith, I cut the apple and slice away its seed-filled core. He takes the piece closest to him from my hand as he types up his school assignment, a paragraph on "My Dream House":

My Dream House

Here are some of my favorite things in my dream house. One of my favorite places in my dream house is the family room. In the family room, I have a big-screen TV. Also, I have a huge couch that has a canopy. Another favorite place in the house is the game room has almost all the games in the world. My most favorite room is the candy room because it has all types of candy from around the world. The last thing I am going to tell you about is the indoor pool. The indoor pool has a slide that is 50 feet high. I would never want to leave my dream house.

Now, this Sunday morning, my son practices his Torah portion with a Hebrew tutor for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. I listen without understanding because I never learned Hebrew. Nor can I describe my dad's grave as nearly as well as my son described his dream house. I've not visited the grave in the 5 years since dad was buried, about the same time my son was dreaming of his perfect future home. The ground's probably frosted over dad. Will I make the trip again? I think instead of dad's empty work shirts piled on the basement steps, or hanging from a kitchen doorknob, and the dark welding burns on the spot of skin over his heart.

frost on the grass
of my father's grave
a Hebrew chant

by Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina

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