I'm Here


I’m Here



Because my father’s family

were pogromed out of Russia

and my mother’s family

were indentured servants from England,

settled in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Because my mother crawled north from Arkansas

to escape her alcoholic family, so naive

she took a job as a bar waitress in Gary, Indiana

before being smitten by my father.

Mom said: In Arkansas I made a wallflower shy;

No man ever looked me in the eyes like that.


Because my parents had a strange honeymoon

when an uncle played a trick and had them thrown in jail

for the first marriage night, guaranteed a different zygote.

Mom said: We thought it was a joke, out in an hour,

but the policeman didn’t free us till the morning.


Here because my mother did not discover

dad’s adultery until a few weeks after my birth,

which prompted Mom to leave town the next night.

Mom said: After you were born,

one of the barmaids brought me flowers

and told me your Dad was having an affair.

Uncle Bill and Aunt Eva took us in.


Now, our family celebrates the 75th birthday of my wife,

here because the 60’s exploded and two anti-War hippies fell in love.

We hug and sing as the sea wind blows

and drink and dance when it rains.


It could have been otherwise. It is fine

to praise chance, that small idol of probability

that birthed us all. We gaze on the blue Pacific

and wonder what happenstance may lead our grandsons

to marvel at such a scene, a precious future

in this perilous, beautiful world.


Vern Fein


A recent octogenarian, Vern Fein, has published over 300 poems and short prose pieces in over 100 different sites. A few are: Gyroscope Review, Young Raven’s Review, Bindweed, *82 Review, River And South, Grey Sparrow Journal, and Ariel Chart.  His second poetry book—REFLECTION ON DOTS—was just released. His Muse is the entire world of poetry.

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