The True Story of My Father

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There were days when I'd catch himalone at the kitchen table, lostinside some regret, his headcradled in his hands like the part

of his life that was over, that hadstopped some time ago. A cigarettesmoldered beside him, its smokerising from the ashtray like a long

held breath, slowly released.I would like to say that my motherwent to him then, leaned over towhisper his name in his ear,

and he jerked up, a little startled,staring around the room in unrecognition,having been called back too quicklyinto his life, and looked up

at my mother who smiled, runningher long fingers through his hair,slipping them into its dark glistening.I would like this, finally, to be

a story of love. But the truth ismy father was an unhappy man,his head was heavy, and sometimeshe rested it in his hands.

© Starnino Carmine