A Memory
by Rose Mary Boehm

The way my father stood
by the evening sun-lit window, a golden halo
playing around his hair
and how he would look
so quietly out of the window, blinking
into those slanted rays of burnt orange.

His thumb in his waistcoat pocket,
his watch chain performing
the perfect shape, just as watch chains
hanging from waistcoat pockets
should. Rather than seeing it then,
I knew that on the left side
of my father’s nose
there was a fleshy mound—not too big.
I would always recognize
my father’s nose.

I couldn’t see that either,
but I knew my father’s hat
hung on the stand-up wardrobe
in the hall, the one with the big mirror
and the large hooks made from a copper alloy,
doubled as not to damage the clothes. I was tracing
the raised flower pattern on the wallpaper.

The evening sun slants across my desk
and makes it difficult to see
the computer screen. My eyes
are wet. The insistent phone calls me.

PAINTING: Man at the Window by Gustave Caillebotte (1875).

Hellmuth Böhm my father (2)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up during WWII. Officially I don’t remember much, I was too small. But sometimes impressions float into my memory banks, more often than not just snippets of a childhood, although a childhood under circumstances that can’t be called “normal.” Still, I find – among the trauma – good bits as it were that let me know that I was loved, the greatest gift parents can give a child.

PHOTO: The author’s father, Hellmuth Böhm.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru, and author of two novels as well as six poetry collections. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly U.S. poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Do Oceans Have Underwater Borders?  (Kelsay Books, July 2022) and Whistling in the Dark  (Taj Mahal Publishing House, July 2022), are both available on Amazon.