A baby boomer’s poems to her late dad

Here at BoomerCafé, we take Fathers Day seriously. After all, some baby boomers still have their fathers, many are fathers themselves, and some are even fathers of fathers. That’s why, with Fathers Day just past, we like these two poems that Dr. Diana Raab wrote as tributes to her own dad, Edward Marquise, September 10, 1921 – December 21, 1991. We hope you have equally good memories of the fathers in your lives.

My Father’s Obsessions

Cream cheese on pumpernickel
diner breakfasts
one hour coughing spell sessions
snoring on his back
disdain for vegetables, except tomatoes
vanilla pudding with a film on top
creamy potato salad,
chopped liver with lots of onions
runny cherry pie
finely mashed potatoes, no chunks
filet of sole soaked in butter
shredded borscht soup
two scoops of vanilla ice cream
the evening news in bed
getting in his car
hot bagels in the morning
cheese Danishes
ice hockey
weekly lottery tickets which
he swore would change his life forever
but then he died and nothing mattered anymore …

Diana with her father and her three children – Rachel, Joshua, Regine – in a photo taken about 1990.

To My Father

You had this radiant smile
and handshake to fracture a bone
and a giving heart
void of bad intention,
even risking tossing that shirt
off your back to street beggars.

As a child I sat on those borders of
Rockefeller Center as you taught
Paul Newman to skate every Sunday
in that place where they called
you Mr. Mark because they couldn’t
pronounce your long European last name.

We’d return home for steak
and whipped potatoes, topped off by
vanilla pudding, your favorite meal
before your bedtime snack of
pumpernickel bread with a smear
of cream cheese.

In morning hours, I eyed you sitting
in your corner diner
as you flattered waitresses
making them giggle with your charm,
while they poured you steamy coffee
in that same seat each day, that same
place I saw grandma for the very last time.

Now, nearly three decades since your passing,
I miss you more than ever and relish
each moment in which your
spirit encircles me. I still talk to you
each day—you the only person who
loved me unconditionally.

I shall be forever warmed by you.

Diana’s father Edward Marquise.

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Lucy I.
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So many of our most cherished memories are of the tiny moments we share. I enjoyed your recounting of your father’s favorite foods. I’m sure you think of him whenever you have pumpernickel bread.

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