for my father
one step at a time, a man/following peaches, only one hand on the rail
-Ted Kooser, Under a Forty-Watt Bulb
That last morning in hospice
you requested fresh peaches
but they could only find canned.
You didn’t mind,
ate slowly, syrup running down your chin.
My mind drifted back decades
to the pool, its filter clogged with fuzz,
and maybe yours did, too:
we children dove for pennies,
got bored, searched the yard
for something more.
Who could find fault with children
diving for peaches on a summer morning
when the boughs were heavy
with fruit and nectar?
You scolded us while you cleaned and skimmed,
but I knew you really didn’t mind.
Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, a photographer, and publishes an occasional anthology through Kingly Street Press. She is an assistant editor at Gyroscope Review. Poetry publications include Rise Up Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, New Verse News, Sky Island, and Minyan. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee. Betsy’s photos have been featured in RATTLE’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Spank the Carp, Praxis, and Redheaded Stepchild. She is the author of Alinea and co-author of In the Muddle of the Night with Alan Walowitz.