Padre Trail


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.



San Diego

19-21 June 1992



[Published in Grasslands.

© 1994 by Jim Cohn.]




(Writers & Books Publications, 1994)