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“Papa, please get the moon for me.”
when I was ten,
a fifth grader attending
my 7th elementary school,
I was watching
THE HIT PARADE
on our 13” B&W TV--
Eddie Fisher was hosting,
Coca Cola was the sponsor.
He sang his #1 hit,
OH! MY PAPA,
& every time I heard the song
I was reduced to inexplicable tears;
perhaps it was the poignant trumpet solo,
or maybe the saccharine lyrics:
Oh, my Papa;
to me he was so wonderful,
Damn, somehow this song highlighted a
mysterious loss in my life, the lyrics vibrated
like cello strings, & emotions exploded.
My mother’s first husband, my “father”, was a
liar, a wife beater who cheated on her routinely.
Her second husband was a pedophile, who had
molested neighborhood children.
Her third husband was a handsome felon, who
rode a motorcycle, drove hot rods, & had potential
for fatherhood, before he started molesting my
sister & beating my mother.
So the song was a trigger, & my adolescent
instincts became a voice that announced I had
no father, just a succession of stepfathers. Oh,
how I missed this lost phantom father that my
mother never mentioned. Years later my odd
suspicions were confirmed, & I had to own them.
Papa was not a
term I ever embraced, for
it was a ghost’s name.
Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub