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Still See My Father Walking

By Maria Sebastian

You never remembered the attack,

your body right to have you sleep awhile.

But we paid every day – the toll, size, mess of it.

When they said you’d be fine, we believed them.

You recovered well, faster than expected,

though your mind never balanced again.

I felt relieved when you passed, years on,

for the promised “fine” never came.

You paced the busy boulevard alone; some days

I couldn’t stop to comfort you, just continued on,

watching your cabbie hat and jacket

shrink in my side-view mirror.

I wished away your nervous walk,

a didn’t-do-it stride mastered in childhood.

Your plan most days: to find cheaper cigarettes,

and someone new to listen.

Poet and singer-songwriter MARIA SEBASTIAN will join poet Perry Nicholas in a reading from their new joint chapbook “The Company We Keep” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday as featured guests of the Screening Room Reading Series, 3131 Sheridan Drive in Amherst. She will join musician John Brady for a set of original acoustic songs to open the evening.