When I was in college in the mid-eighties, I was busy with classes, studying, and various other activities that occupy the time of college students, but somehow I had time to watch “Days Of Our Lives” with a lot of other guys in the dorm so we could have stuff to talk to the girls about. Days Of Our Lives had mystery and drama, and we were constantly discussing whether Roman was alive or did he really die at the hands of Stefano. I said all of that to say that I’m positive that I wrote The Visit while I was in college and when I re-read this today, I have to think that I saw something like this on television or something that got me thinking about a young man visiting an older man. Time frame for this is somewhere between 1983 and 1986 and no, this isn’t about my father.
he spoke of his children,
like he had for years.
in a quiet tone, but
bursting with pride,
about some present
they made for his birthday.
he told of a doll house he built,
with his son, for his daughter.
robbie and mary, I believe is what he said.
robbie played baseball, first base,
longed to see the yankees.
mary was the most beautiful girl in the world.
they were the best students,
and listened to his every tale.
he showed me their picture,
a torn and dirty piece of paper
with most of the picture rubbed off.
obviously black and white.
“these are my kids,” he said,
“the best damn kids.”
all too soon the visit was over.
it was time for me to go.
they were closing for the night and,
we’d have to finish our talk some other time.
as I stood to say goodbye,
I leaned over and,
kissed him on the forehead,
“goodnight, Dad,” I said.