Saturday Poem / Mill Hunk
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When he was young, my father sang
on the radio in Braddock.
He cut a record and dreamed of Broadway.
He dreamed of sleek suits, silver boxes
of fat cigars, the best bourbon.
He sang "Begin the Beguine," a song
Cole Porter wrote drunk at the Paris Ritz.
"Begin the Begin," my father called it,
in the years before he got married.
Then he grew up, wised up, buckled down.
He worked in the mills. "Face reality,"
he said. "This isn't a dream world."
Even after he retired he wore work clothes. His skin showed through shirts stained black with graphite.
"I can never remember it,"
Cole Porter said of that song.
First Published September 22, 2012 12:00 am