A letter to my father

By Mike Smolarek


August 21, 1997

It has been a long time

fourteen years now,

to the day

since you were last here,

at least physically.

But there is not a single day that goes by

without a wandering thought of you,

your dark skin and dark hair,

and what we could be doing,

You and I.


I was eight and didnít really know what had happened

when it happened.

There was nothing wrong with you,

we had just ate breakfast together,

then a quick game of catch,

I remember the wind,

blowing your few hairs across you head.

You smiled.

When we finished, you showed me the trick you always did for me,

With your two false teeth,

Moving them around,

Leaving a big gaping hole

in the smile.


And now, fourteen years later,

After living more of my life without you

Than with you

I still know you are there.

I canít talk to you anytime I want,

When I am happy,




Or reflective.

And without saying a word,

You hear everything that I think,

And still do the tooth trick,

A big smile