Saturday, June 18, 2022

A Poem for Father's Day

It's Father's Day!

Today I'll share one of many poems

I've written about my father.

This one appears in "Wonderhoods,"

my 411-page memoir in poetry. 

My father, Frank H. Walsh (1912-1985)



One of my earliest recollections

or maybe I'd heard the story so often

I just think I remember it

is of the first week of April 1948

I was nearly four; my sister, two and a half

It was the day our baby brother

came home from the hospital

Frank, namesake of our father

was cradled in the arms of our mother

wrapped in a navy plaid woolen blanket

They arrived with Daddy and Gramma

through the back door of the stucco home

our parents built in West Paterson


Gram took one look toward the kitchen sink

piled high with very dirty dishes

and immediately a commotion started


Daddy had been taking care of Carol and me

while Mommy was in the hospital

(at least five days in those days)

and Daddy was definitely

not one to do "women's work"

Many times he went on

about Mr. Palmer, the man next door

who was known to share a beer

with Dad, time to time

under the birch at the fence

Mr. Palmer not only helped

Mrs. Palmer with dinner preparations

but sometimes he was seen

hanging laundry on their backyard clothesline

Mrs. Palmer went to business at Kearfott

dressed in a smartly tailored suit

She was very unlike

the other house-dressed and aproned

stay-at-home mothers

in our neighborhood


Well, Daddy had to make the dinners

while Mommy was in the hospital

so he whipped up the only meal

he knew how to prepare—

beanie weenies

He cut up frankfurters

in half-inch pieces

and stirred them in a pot

with canned Campbell's Pork 'n' Beans

He heated them until they were bubbly

and served them to us in bowls

as long as there were bowls

then cups, as long as there were cups

then glasses…

and all those pots, bowls, cups, and glasses

and every tea and tablespoon in the house

were stacked in the white porcelain sink

caked with dry brown Campbell residue

awaiting the homecoming of our mother


I don't remember who tackled the chore

Suppose it had to have been Gram


Mommy placed Frank on the parlor sofa

still wrapped snuggly in the navy plaid blanket

She told Carol and me not to touch him

so we just stood and studied him

as he slept


Maude Carolan

For information about how to order books of poetry

by Maude Carolan Pych,

visit her website at

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