by L. Noelle McLaughlin

The boys played Skully in the street
On Morrison Avenue in Soundview,
Fast pitch stickball off the wall
Near Grandma Mary’s basement kitchen door,
She came over on a boat with his dad when she was just fourteen.

King queen handball in the center court by the laundry room,
They said he had a mean killer ball so low
You would scrape your knuckles trying to hit it.

Listen, I don’t have many quiet memories of my father
After we moved upstate from Yonkers, dragging out his commute,
Except for when he would step out onto the deck he built that summer,
He would fold his large boxer hands which were usually dancing or drumming on something,
Tilt his face up with lowered eyes and take a long, slow sip of the sun.

 

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash