AT THE PITTSBURGH REGIONAL HISTORY CENTER, REMEMBERING A PHOTOGRAPH OF MY FATHER/ Salvaged from the slow fires of the rust, The dust raised up! Brick and girders The black, particulate Pittsburgh air That fell upon us like history's own patina The U.S. Steel mándala, Klein's neon lobster And surface glare. Here all's restored: And scalloped sea--the sign beneath which My parents dined in their brief spring after the war Until her death left him shell-shocked. I climb into the softly glowing streetcar, The house in Homestead they returned to, Looked just like this re-creation With its weathered trim and kitchen, Mint and empty, they could have ridden. Past twisty rivers and smoke-plumed flues, The mills' red suffusion flooding The shadowbox rooms. Alleys I watched, In turn, fill with sparrows and children flocking Home from school. Where my father Stands below the parlor window, archival In his baseball suit: high-tops and stirrups, The glove dangling to his knee The Missouri Review · 53 An enormous, swollen paw. In the wavy Panes above him, the oil-rubbed fronds And birdcage swirl within the rooftree Reflected from next door. A framed world Flattened like history. CO AL, his shirt reads, Which the
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 2000
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