Mark LuckerComment

Poems my father left me

Mark LuckerComment
Poems my father left me

There is reason, even some rhyme
who, what, why he was,
what he did and why he didn’t
why he maybe should’ve


His groove was far more
scat than stanza
he could always carry a
jaunty life’s tune
singing it with gusto

Nearly thirty years
since his last oration

I can still recite
his poetic forms

many are the tests

I often refer to
his weathered,
hand-me-down crib notes
mental index cards:
life lessons, guidelines,
direction and insights

Cantos of appreciation
for good food garnished with
lively conversation, the need
for tolerance, the futility
of anger, borne of frustration

To value people by the
who not the what;
that words are weapons,
how deeply they can cut

His iambic passion
for baseball,
for Laurel & Hardy,
how to properly be
the life of any party

That hard work doesn’t hurt
a broken heart surely does
that family is what it is,
not what it should be or was

haikus on
How to laugh.
How to love.
And why the hell
you should

at every available

it’s O.K. to cry
even at a movie, that age
is no impediment to being
hip, cool. Even groovy.

He left couplets of
deli pastrami on
crusty-soft Jewish rye

cottage cheese mixed
with sour cream, real
New York cheesecake
made with ricotta

steak, medium rare
bourbon and sour
Glenn Miller’s music
better in a good chair

Madrigals for all
to try new things,
continually dream

life is good, strive
to make it even better

Friends will come,
friends will go


That a few will
stick around
all will leave you
something of value

His odes to a son
if you like
something it’s good
critics be damned

remember there will
always be more
questions than answers

Not to sweat it
never regret it

To laugh often,
love well –
and vice-versa

To smell the roses
and to give them
in bouquets, and
one at a time

These are the poems
my father left me

I recite them, at will.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016