I hadn’t heard from my father in over thirty years.

Over thirty years ago he went away & never came back.

But now he was old, soon he would die, be forever

   out of reach, no more time to be too proud to try.

I wrote him a letter in October to ask for his blessings.

It was after twelve one night the next spring he called.

He said he’d never forgotten me.

He told me we’re together now & I’ll never again let you go.


The plan was to arrive on Friday, go to temple.

Saturday to visit the cemetery so his parents could

   see us together.

Sunday, it turned out, was Father’s Day.

I brought a card that said –– Sometimes the words may be

   hard but the love is always there.


Flying in over Balboa park, I saw homeless men & boys

   sleeping on their cardboard beds.

All around me, people were embracing one another.

I stood in the waiting area a long while, and then

   the tears rolled down my face.


19-21 June 1992


Two-part spoken word version from The Road (The Abolitionists).

Copyright © 1995 by Rudy’s Steakhouse Music.

Text from Grasslands (Writers & Books Publications).

Copyright © 1994 by Jim Cohn.