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Coda
by
Edwin Romond


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Asbury Park, August 3, 1962
 
I am 13 and smiling
in this photo with my father
on his 53rd birthday.
He stands with his arm
around me and I feel
his biceps solid from years
of lifting freight on and off
his truck. My father’s grinning,
his eyes bright with life
and behind us the boardwalk
teems with Saturday people.
All around us are summer
and the unstoppable pulse
of Asbury Park in ’62.
 
My father looks like a monument
of muscle, broad shouldered,
barrel chested, not a speck
of gray in his thick black hair,
an icon of strength and health.
No arcade fortune teller
could ever convince me
he has just four months to live;
that today is the last day
on this boardwalk
he and I will smile together.
 
Fifty summers later, I touch
the photo like a sacred relic,
the last remains of that day
by the sea, then place it
in a salt water taffy tin
with a faded post card saying,
Greetings from Asbury Park -
Wish You Were Here.
 
 
From the chapbook , Asbury Park: Seven Poems.
Used with the author’s permission.
Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 

 

Edwin Romond  is a poet, playwright, composer, and educator. Now retired, he taught English for 32 years.  His award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books and anthologies (including these shown here), and has been featured on National Public Radio. Edwin maintains an active schedule of readings and presentations; check www.edwinromond.com to see if he's appearing anywhere in your area. A native of Woodbridge, NJ, Edwin lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife and son.


Post New Comment:
69Dorcas:
Lovely reflective remembrance. When I put mine in a home and had disposed of his personal effects he said to me "Where is the carabou?" It is the National animal of the Philippines, the water buffalo as some know it. It was a little wood carving he had. I assured him "I have it, Daddy." I have gone on to collect more carabou carvings and have them all in my home. This brings tears to my eyes.
Posted 08/03/2012 10:04 PM
marenomitchell:
This poem packs a priceless punch. Thanks.
Posted 08/03/2012 11:54 AM
Larry Schug:
These "missing your father" poems always get to me. Of course, the last line says it all. Isn't it amazing what power there is in those four little words. this poem invokes so many emotions in me. Thanks for writing it (as if you had a choice!)
Posted 08/03/2012 11:08 AM
Larry Schug:
These "missing your father" poems always get to me. Of course, the last line says it all. Isn't it amazing what power there is in those four little words. this poem invokes so many emotions in me. Thanks for writing it (as if you had a choice!)
Posted 08/03/2012 11:07 AM
KevinArnold:
A wonderful father poem. How quickly it passes. Men and their biceps, yes.
Posted 08/03/2012 08:51 AM
CamilleBalla:
Tears here, too. Your real images woven with heartfelt words have made a wonderful poem. I will forward to my son--and daughters, too. Thank you so much.
Posted 08/03/2012 08:43 AM
angierdh:
Seating in the waiting room of ICU reading this poem. My father is fighting back from a stroke he had yesterday. The little moments ARE the big moments we cling to when it feels like the bottom has fallen out.
Posted 08/03/2012 08:08 AM
Marilyn L Taylor:
A very successful and moving poem, Edwin.
Posted 08/03/2012 07:53 AM
dotief@comcast.net:
My goodness. This poems speaks volumes simply by flooding us with real images that lead to its inevitable conclusion-- "Wish you were here." How often I have felt those words. Wonderful poem!
Posted 08/03/2012 07:52 AM
mimi:
and chills too...lovely and poignant poem, thank you..
Posted 08/03/2012 06:53 AM
LisaV:
Tears, here, too. Thanks for the reminder to treasure every moment while living it.
Posted 08/03/2012 06:27 AM
Eiken:
Tears in my eyes Edwin. I lost my father recently and miss him and he was a strong athletic man like your Dad. We have happy memories and I was very lucky to have him most of my life (53 now). Wonderful poem, really moved me. Maire in Ireland.
Posted 08/03/2012 06:12 AM
Kay Sanders:
Beautiful and poignant. The line, "the last remains of that day," fits the poem so perfectly and evokes added emotion from the book of a similar title.
Posted 08/03/2012 05:48 AM


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