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Winter Of 'Thirty-Nine
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Winter Of 'Thirty-Nine

Poem By Beth Webster

In this picture, my father
looks like my son at seven.
His mittened hands steer a sled.
He wears a wool fedora, a scarf,
a soft, thick coat. He told me
the snow in Akron could turn
black in a day, stained by fallout
from coal-burning stoves and
smoke from the Goodyear factory
where my grandfather worked.
But this picture was taken
before my father really knew
all of Europe would soon be
scattered like a chess board
thrown across a room. He
didn't know what he was in for,
that he'd grow up to wear
a suit and tie and to love
other men in a post-Freudian,
post war, Saturday Evening
America, so he went forth
that day with his mutt and sled,
and wide-eyed and smiling,
rode the unblemished snow.

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