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“Gate 7”

…………………………GATE 7

………………………………,,.~for Sam Robinson, 1915-2009

…………………………You rest in silence, your metal casket

…………………………set deep within the plane. You cannot see

…………………………the eight of us waiting here to join you

…………………………nor hear the jewelry salesman who,

…………………………on a whim, has left his nearby shop

…………………………to play guitar for the crowd, fingering

…………………………some silver strings, latching and then

…………………………unlatching old Spanish refrains

…………………………tambien…siempre…tambien…siempre…

…………………………I think of your long life,  linked always to

…………………………the riches of family — you an eldest son

…………………………and then a soldier, also husband, father,

…………………………grandfather. Father-in-law to me.

…………………………The music plays on, your last flight still

…………………………ahead:  tonight all the runways of

…………………………Los Angeles shine for you and sing

…………………………tambien…siempre…tambien…siempre…

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…………………………by Therese L. Broderick

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…………………………(A writer’s statement appears as the first comment.)

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About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

2 responses »

  1. WRITER’S STATEMENT
    .
    This poem is autobiographically accurate. My father-in-law died in late November 2009 while on a trip to Mexico with eight family members. His metal & silver casket was flown from Mexico to Los Angeles. While waiting to board the airplane at Gate 7, we heard a jewelry salesman play a guitar. The only words sung in Spanish which I understood were “tambien” (also) and “siempre” (always). In the poem, I add those two words in English: “also,” “always.” Finally — I am not absolutely certain that the casket was already loaded into the plane when we boarded. It is possible that the casket was loaded after we boarded.
    .

  2. Marilyn Zembo Day

    Therese, I love the repetition of the Spanish words, especially that “siempre” means always. What a lovely tribute to your father-in-law. So clear that he is always in the hearts of those who loved them!

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