My Fatherís Signature*


I could decipher only fragments

because his interrupted hand

blown so fast across the page

by the daily docket's pace

was barely legible without


his lips between the lines.

Duty done, my eyes raced back

to the envelope that framed

his seamless signature,

consciously fingering


the calligraphic capitals.

The airy northeast arc

of the "EĒ careened

as clean

as any skaterís entree


axel striking virgin ice.

The "M" was more mysterious

shadowing the lesser letters

till it lanced the final "y"

smoothly from beneath


I could not find the silken

crease where they ran together,

like the pulse that launched the wrist

every day I played away

my summers in the country.



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Jerome L. McElroy


††††††††††† *Accepted in ByLine (November 2005).