Beth Ann Fennelly reads

Asked for a Happy Memory of Her Father, She Recalls Wrigley Field

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His drinking was different in sunshine,
as if it couldn’t be bad. Sudden, manic,
he swung into a laugh, bought me
two ice creams, said One for each hand.

Half the hot inning I licked Good Humor
running down wrists. My bird-mother
earlier, packing my pockets with sun block,
has hopped her warning: Be careful.

So, pinned between his knees, I held
his Old Style in both hands
while he streaked the sun block on my cheeks
and slurred My little Indian princess.

Home run: the hairy necks of men in front
jumped up, thighs torn from gummy green bleachers
to join the violent scramble. Father
held me close and said Be careful,

be careful. But why should I be full of care
with his thick arm circling my shoulders,
with a high smiling sun, like a home run,
in the upper right-hand corner of the sky?