Two Years After the Disaster
No longer has anything a meaning,
nor could match the newness of this peace
for shade or in another time exist
the same way twice the way in which
the steamboat takes me and my father
up the mighty Hudson to Bear Mountain.
We come upon the zoo. I reach out to feed
the polar bear. My father cries out to me.
He was concerned and led me to the river's edge.
We crossed the Jersey Central tracks. In view
no train was then in view. I put my fingers
in the waves. The trees and animals
became my friends. My father threw
a stone far out upon the surface of
the river. I watched him carefully.
He has aged gracefully; his face
tanned from the summer sun,
for he is where the sun sets daily
over Tucson, Arizona. It has
been two years now and I am twenty-one.
In the mails a bank book is addressed
to me. No longer has anything
a meaning. But remembering the way
he held my hand, I walk out toward
the terrifying domes of nature
that will give me peace and hear
his voice, among the animals and trees,
cry out to me, "Gerard! ... Gerard!
be gentle to your friends."