My Father at Work
An enlargement of a picture taken by a News
Photographer in Cleveland, Ohio on a winter
Afternoon in 1953,. My father is bending over
A mail box that is covered with snow. He is
Wearing his Postal Workers uniform and a captain’s
Style hat. There is so much snow on the mailbox
That the words “U.S. MAI L are barely readable.
A pile of snow swept from the sidewalk sits at
My father’s feet. The picture is framed and on
The back my Aunt has written my father’s name
And the words “The mail man at E. 105 & Euclid
Says…” but the rest is blurred.
I remember seeing the newspaper clipping, once, a
Long time ago. I do not remember if it told what
My father, the mailman had to say. In 1953, I am
Living at home but my father is staying with his
Girlfriend and her mother at their home in the Heights.
I have dropped out of college and work for the
Cleveland Public Library and take night classes
At Fenn College. My Aunt, my father’s oldest
Sister also lives alone. She has been keeping an
Eye one me since my mother passed in 1947. She
Is not happy that my father is living with his girlfriend.
She was upset when I dropped out of college, but is
Paying my way at Fenn. My father has not offered,
Though he stops over now and then and we talk
Pleasantly, about safe subjects like the Cleveland
In the background of my father’s picture, there is
A store with a large sign on the window “The
Biggest Auto Show” it says in very big letters.
The neighborhood around E.105 & Euclid has
Changed since the war. The offices of professional
Men that my father delivered letters have moved
Out to the suburbs. Many of the office buildings
Are vacant. Soon the posh movie theatre, Keith’s
105th. will close. More liquor stores and taverns
My father is looking forward to his retirement. In
The picture you can see the wrinkles on his face.
Beneath a corner of his uniform cap, his white
Hair shows by his right ear... He is smiling, but
It is not a full smile. His teeth do not show. He is
Wearing his glasses. I believe that he has worn
Glasses all his life. My mother used to worry
About him misplacing his glassed. As a child,
I spent a lot of time looking for them. A leather
Pouch hangs over his shoulder. He will fill it
With the mail he has removed from the mail
Box. What he likes best about being a mail man
Is being out-of- doors.
When he retires, my father plans to marry his
Girlfriend. They will sell the house in the heights
And the one off St. Clair Ave. where I am living
And then the three of them will buy a house in
Lakeside, Ohio. Lakeside is a Chatauqua like
Resort run by the Methodists. When the old Mother
Dies, they might spend winters in Florida. They are
Looking forward to the future. I am not sure what
I will do. My girlfriends family says I can stay with
Them. I like my job at the library, but I don’t like
Living in Cleveland.
Ten years later, in May 1963, my father dies in Florida.
His body is brought back to Cleveland so he can be buried
Next to my mother. President Kennedy is still president.
Pope John 23 is still Pope. I am married, living just outside
Lakeside and pregnant with child #5. All the out-of town
Relatives gather for the funereal. That is the last time
I see any of them again.