Goddam war. If my father hadn’t worked nights at the shipyard.
If he could have used his education in the Law.

If my father hadn’t had to help in the family business,
medicine cabinets. If that family business hadn’t gone under.

If his father hadn’t died so young. If my grandmother hadn’t
married again, left him alone, left alone to fend for himself.

If he hadn’t traded Xerox too soon. If he’d forgiven himself.
If he’d moved us to a big house on Lehigh Parkway.

If my mother clicked down the stairs in high heels,
Chanel Number 5, a black and backless dress for cocktails.

If my father’s leaky heart. If he’d spent his days trolling
for tuna on the deep and warm and boundless.

If the Phillies ever went all the way.