10-Line Tuesday

August 21, 2012

This poem is dedicated to José Antonio.

the trick

It’s true. I took a bus from New Jersey and walked the long, humid blocks
just for this: the green expanse of Central Park in summer,
a newly purchased set of juggling rings swinging from my fingertips.
I wove through the zoo of Times Square, the jackhammer
of traffic horns and street hawkers and late season sales and arrived,
sweaty but beaming, at the gates. The day before, you’d slipped into your final sleep,
but I’m certain you would have approved, your easy smile keeping my father aloft
for years. It is here, now, that same shy grin, as I make loop after loop
in the thick air, braiding my hands with a skill they didn’t know.
It turns out the trick isn’t how to catch, but when to let go.