From this writing desk I see
Out the window at my side
A young father with two sons
Trio up the street through sun and shade.

Dad stops to kneel before the oldest boy:
Something about a shoe.
His tanned head down, 
He reaches to unlace.

Then father in white tee-shirt stands back up
And boy himself bends down to tie
While his younger brother, waiting,
Patient, dances steps.  Did my daddy do that for me?

He was the kind of man who would.
Now in my kitchen, I prepare oatmeal-with-raisins,
Whole wheat toast and raw honey, coffee
For the ghost of the tall man I walked with as a child.

Jonathan Bracker is published in The Gay And Lesbian Review, The New Yorker, and other periodicals; An eighth, Attending Junior High, is due from Seven Kitchens Press this fall. He is editor of Bright Cages: The Selected Poems Of Christopher Morley; co-author with Mark Wallach of Christopher Morley.