Word was Mom’s pregnancy
hadn’t gone well, should not go full term.
My birth was to be a scheduled procedure.

Dad flew back home from his contract work
near the Arctic Circle — a radar installation
in service of the Cold War.

That he managed a flight was no small…

It was just the other day I went looking
for those aviator sunglasses
that once belonged to my father
and found myself thinking of his story
about washing out of flight school
— Army Air Corps, Waco, Texas, 1947 —
the flight test he failed on account
of one moment’s inattention — or was it…

‘John Prine Shrine’ in the author’s study, image by Mia Cross

I saw John Prine at Berkley Performance Center in Boston quite a few years back. It was his first tour after having survived a run-in with cancer (his first of two).

He was just learning a new voice, the new delivery necessary. His band was just a stripped down affair…

I

April Fool’s Day


My mind wanders as I struggle
to read another difficult page.

I’ve not grasped design or intention,
only gathered a spirit
itself not quite decided on the meaning

of certain facts, the content
of a pants pocket, what
of the city is…

That day the war began
I was on a radio station soundstage.
It wasn’t just me. There were a bunch of us

there to put on some kind of show.
This was a station that actually played folk music.

I don’t remember the specifics of the broadcast —…

I was asked to provide instruction,
told it didn’t matter on what;
this assignment was posed to me with the assumption
obvious that I am expert in something, anything
and it occurs to me that I am not.

Would it be useful if I were to explain to you
how I came to this conclusion…

Tom Driscoll

Tom Driscoll, poet, essayist and opinion columnist lives/works in Framingham, Massachusetts. https://tomdriscollwriting.com/

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