I Genitori Perduti

The dove-white gulls
on the wet lawn in Washington Square
in the early morning fog
each a little ghost in the gloaming
Souls transmigrated maybe
from Hudson’ s shrouded shores
across all the silent years —
Which one’ s my maybe mafioso father
in his so white suit and black shoes
in his real estate office Forty-second Street
or at the front table wherever he went —
Which my dear lost mother with faded smile
locked away from me in time —
Which my big brother Charley
selling switching-signals all his life
on the New York Central —
And which good guy brother Clem
sweating in Sing Sing’ s darkest offices
deputy-warden thirty years
watching executions in the wooden armchair
(with leather straps and black hood)
He too gone mad with it in the end —
And which my nearest brother Harry
still kindest and dearest in a far suburb —
I see them now all turn to me at last
gull-eyed in the white dawn
about to call to me
across the silent grass