T. Dwyer, 1916-2004

There is an actual moment of leaving home.
My father briefly looks away.
He could be surveying a field
for signs of how the barley
is coming along.
Instead, it is rows of Brooklyn apartments.
Looking toward me, he nods.
I might see something in this world
that a farmer from Galway does not.

I was nineteen years old.
He gives me fifty dollars
and a heavy yellow rain slicker
picked up here or there.
More than thirty years in the future,
I’ll give my son a blue one.

It is one of the first times
that we shake hands.
I’m a head or more taller,
his grip is very strong,
his eyes are grey-blue.
Safe journey kid, as he slowly lets go.

Another time, in the rain,
I find it in the pocket—
beads made from green marble,
a Connemara rosary.

May the road rise to meet him.