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So-and-so slept here, a date, a list
of battles fought—whatever they’re about,
he reads them all, not just to get the gist
but top to bottom, loudly, calling out
excitedly, listen to this, you guys,
to share with them this knowledge on display,
this one cool fact. The kids all roll their eyes—
there goes Dad again—and walk away.
They’ve tuned him out so often that I guess
he’s background noise; they never catch the words,
he’s like a soundtrack to their lives—no, less,
refrigerator hum, or maybe birds.
He keeps on reading—oblivious, content.
Maybe someday they’ll know what he meant.

—Midge Goldberg

Image by Emw via Creative Commons