Valerie Rosenfeld

My Father

When we were young, my father took us to Niagara Falls. At night, the falls were lit up by lights. I remember the rush of pink and purple water plunging into the great void. He gave us magic when we were young, his warmth everywhere. Now I sit with him as he grieves the loss of his sister. Always a Sinatra fan, he sings a line from one of the songs now. Under his breath I hear: “so that’s how it goes…” as he looks straight ahead into the void. No pink and purple now, I hold my father’s hand and sit with him as the water rushes over us both.

he didn’t know
what he was teaching
the real waterfall
outpouring of love
my heart learning despite itself


I squirrel myself
away from other people
looking for home
but unresolved conflicts
leave me homeless

pursuing a mindful life
while leaving mindlessness intact
in my mess-
is it only this duality of purpose
that keeps me from home?

I feel most at peace
in the room that has no traces
of me-
is home where I am
or where I am not?

first we fought
for an eternity
then we found
the truth together
this alone is home

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