Heaven, 1963
by Kim Noriega

It's my favorite photo--
captioned, "Daddy and His Sweetheart."
It's in black and white,
it's before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He's standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He's wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He's twenty-seven.
I'm two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I'm fast asleep in his arms.

American Life in Poetry: Column 120

Used in accordance with the terms of usage agreement for registered members of American Life in Poetry newsletter. Also, I know the image I chose doesn't really fit the poem...but I liked it as a complement to the poem (and I couldn't find a better one :)

The Darkness Around Us is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford

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