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Anita S. Pulier


...what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?
                                                                                  —Robert Hayden, "Those Winter Sundays"

Not yet allowed to cross the street
I waited patiently at the corner,
peering down the block, until he appeared
walking home from the F train.
I, who have
traveled the world,
seen many wonders,
believe that no
wilderness trek,
no safari thrill,
has ever compared
to the moment I would spot him,
my five-year-old heart racing,
small frame bouncing up and down,
waving, screaming Daddy, Daddy,
and he would laugh,
drop his briefcase,
lift me high above the world,
challenge me to guess
which sweaty palm held
a piece of bubblegum
or penny candy.
Oblivious to his
long and burdensome day,
I long assumed that my joy,
my earth-shaking happiness,
was all that consumed us both.

From Toast (Finishing Line Press, 2021).
Used with permission.


Anita S. Pulier, after retiring from her law practice in Brooklyn, happily traded-in legal writing for poetry. She’s the author of three chapbooks and two full-length collections, the latest being Toast, from Finishing Line Press. Anita’s poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals and in the anthologies Grabbing the Apple, the poetry edition of Legal Studies Forum, and Aunt Poems by The Emma Press. Anita and her husband split their time between the Upper West Side of New York, and Los Angeles. Learn more about her at



Post New Comment:
Posted 06/19/2022 04:17 PM
Alexis Rhone Fancher:
Posted 06/19/2022 03:03 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful memory.
Posted 06/19/2022 02:44 PM
Wonderful poem. It would be a different world could have such a father.
Posted 06/19/2022 12:02 PM
Shoshauna Shy:
Lovely language. I, too, remember how my brother and I raced two blocks to meet our dad as he walked from the el train station. Mom was getting supper made, and needed us out of the way. What a memorable routine the handful of summery times it happened.
Posted 06/19/2022 10:19 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
Perfect poem for Father's Day. I love how Anita shows the joy of a young girl when her father returns from work. This realization doesn't come to us until adulthood when we earn our own money: Oblivious to his long and burdensome day, I long assumed that my joy, my earth-shaking happiness, was all that consumed us both.
Posted 06/19/2022 09:14 AM
I feel the love!
Posted 06/19/2022 08:36 AM
Larry Schug:
Not the ending I expected. I remember my dad pulling up in front of the house in his big,black Buick and before that a car with running boards on which h let us very slowly ride.
Posted 06/19/2022 08:09 AM
Lovely! Captures so well the child's innocent joy and the father's love. And it's so true. At the end of the day, y mom would drive us to the train to pick up may dad, and it was such a thrill to spot him among the commuter crowd!
Posted 06/19/2022 06:14 AM

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