Each night of his weeklong engagement
at the Garden State Arts Center,
Perry Como would stand backstage
waiting to go on and I, a summer
security guard, would stand next to him.
Each night I resolved to speak to him,
but each night I'd get too nervous,
so I said nothing as Perry stood
with me, resplendent in his tuxedo.
I wanted to tell him how much
it meant that when I was a child,
each night before Thanksgiving, he
would end his TV show by singing
"Bless This House" as my mother
mixed her stuffing for the turkey
my family would feast on the next day.
I wanted to tell him his "Bless This House"
was an early table grace for our most special
meal of the year. And I really wanted to tell him
that as he sang "Bless This House" in his reverent
voice, I'd sit in front of our black and white TV
with my father, sister, and brothers and feel
grateful for the blessing of my family in our house.
This is what I wanted to say to Perry Como
but never could, so I say it now in this poem
with the wish that he could hear me.
© by Edwin Romond.
Used with the author's permission.
Edwin Romond is a poet, playwright, and composer. Now retired, he taught English for more than 30 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey. Edwin's award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books, and anthologies, and has been featured on National Public Radio. His newest collection, Man at the Railing, ifrom NYQ Books, recently won the Laura Boss Narrative Poetry Award. A native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife. Learn more about him at www.edwinromond.com.
Perry Como is a stand-in for a huge number of people in our lives to whom we wish we would have said something when it was still possible. A beautiful poem.
Posted 11/27/2023 10:39 AM
Posted 11/23/2023 12:39 AM
What a beautiful and appropriate poem in time for Thanksgiving! I too will want to go over all the words in the song, Bless this House. I remember very well Perry Comos voice. Going to look and maybe send to the grandkids.
Posted 11/22/2023 02:45 PM
You said it very well, Edwin. Happy Thanksgiving.
Posted 11/22/2023 09:42 AM
Thanks for this, Ed. It inspired me to go online and hear Perry Como singing Bless This House, so thanks for that, too.
Posted 11/22/2023 09:01 AM
I was very young then but remember his smooth, mellow voice. This poem is a touching tribute to the man and an excellent wish for Thanksgiving.
Posted 11/22/2023 08:27 AM
I was a weird kid, I guess. Unlike my amigo, Larry, I loved those '50s crooners, male and female --Cole, Crosby, Ford, Shore, Clooney, and all the singers on the Lawrence Welk show. What a time it was for great entertainers and great music!
Posted 11/22/2023 08:24 AM
Great comment, Norma. This poem reminds me of my mother so much, how after the house was calmed down at night, how she would relax by herself with the stereo barely loud enough to hear (to my teen-aged ears) and relax with Como, Williams, Martin an all the rest of the great 50's crooners, which, of course, I hated
Posted 11/22/2023 07:57 AM
This poem touches my heart. Its a beautiful memory described in simple language but visually and emotionally strong. Just thinking of Perry Como and the black and white TV evokes a ton of my own memories. Thanks, Ed!
Posted 11/22/2023 07:32 AM