INHERITANCE

The standard-issue complement, as trite
As it can be: to ride a bike; to swim;
To tie a Windsor knot or learn to shave.
It’s true these dull clichés were gifts from him,
But they’re the things that every father gave
You growing up in Beaver Cleaver days.
Why then, before I go to bed each night,
Is it this trivial tip of his that stays:
Like him, I wipe my cloudy glasses clean
With bed-sheet flannel till they’re polished off.
“It works because there’s nothing that’s as soft.”
And when I wake each day, it can be seen:
The world; that he was right. It’s this
That I remember like a boy’s first kiss.

Len Krisak

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