I never knew

I remember getting out of your car, the green Mustang,
and getting into the car of a traveling salesman.

I never knew you came back to the entrance
of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to look for me.

It took you forty years to tell me.
Or forty years for me to ask.

I went on the road after I read On the Road.
After Uncle Jack bragged how Cousin Eddie
hitchhiked his summer before freshman year,
as far west as Montana, and into Alberta.


I never knew that when you die,
your body goes into a deep relaxation,
and someone needs to clean up
your bottom. A kind of legacy.

Another legacy: You showed me how to dive
at the bottom of the tallest waves,
and come out the other side
balancing the sun on my shoulders.

The waters are warmer than they were then.
And saltier.

Richard Bloom once worked in advertising, but switched careers and became a full-time substitute teacher. That’s when he started to take poetry writing seriously. He took classes at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. He is a guest lecturer on Emily Dickinson at Bergen Community College. He has been published in New York Quarterly, Barnwood International, and Seneca Review. Richard lives in New York with his wife Catia, and their dog Geoffrey.

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