FIRST TRIP / by Joseph Castorino

Dedicated to my father

Me and Dad were at

Knott’s Berry Farm and

he couldn’t wait to share

his favorite attractions with me;

the torch of his enthusiasm

burned even hotter

than the fiery ashes

of his cigarettes;

but I was like a wet match,

soaking wet,

and Dad had no chance,

no chance at all --

my whole world was


hot words of anger

gathered in his mouth

like fierce storm winds,

but then he hesitated,

thought pensively for a moment,

and, finally, swallowed them;

with a smile of selfless surrender,

he took my hand in his own

and, together,

we walked towards the exit.