’14 Summer Swansong (part 1)

statue of liberty

More than a week has passed. Out of a two-month summer vacation, two days remain. Impressions:

last bitter taste of morning coffee cicada song

August 23rd

We take the mandatory photo at the Statue of Liberty. An overcast sky hangs above her torch. We’ve put on long-sleeves. Frankie is happier racing on the ledge—until we learn that our tickets don’t include access to the pedestal.

sea gull cries he stares at tourists on the base

After viewing the early immigration galleries, the great hall (with its vaulted ceiling), and the immigrant processing stations, Mira and I snap at each other. Our issue: who accompanies our son through even more galleries? I pass him off to his cousins and enter one I haven’t seen. It tells the story of immigrants’ work, hardships, sacrifices. I, one of their descendants, stare at my callous-free hands.

chalk-marked jackets
only tourists now step on
the Great Hall’s floor

August 24th

The singers play to the dozens seated on lawn chairs. They perform on a stage set in a shady grove of oaks and maples. I hear that first melody—wistfully sung, sorrowful folk lyrics—and know we won’t be at this festival long. A frisbee toss with Frankie on a rise overlooking the lawn later, I’m proven right.

packing up
an upbeat tempo
as we depart

Photo by BICAD MEDIA

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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