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…
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 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…