“My Father” by Terri Kirby Erickson

Terri Kirby Erickson


My father was a whistler and a penny
lobber. He had no use for the lowest
denomination of hard money, so handing
pennies to him for change was followed
by a quick coin toss to the sidewalk. Dad’s
one-cent pieces are all over this town,
including the pockets and piggy banks
of strangers, something he never met.
He could talk to anybody and they talked
to him. While paying for paint or car
parts or anything at all, cashiers would
tell my dad the stories of their lives and
he would listen. Once my ex-husband,
who my father later referred to as a bad
penny, was yelling at me because supper
wasn’t hot on the table when he came
home from work. He didn’t know that
Dad was upstairs until he came bounding
down saying, Boy, if you’re so hungry, why
don’t you eat a goddam cracker? which
was one of the most satisfying moments
of my entire life, and still worth a whistle.

from Poets Respond


Terri Kirby Erickson: “Thanks for everything, Dad. I miss you every day.” (web)

Rattle Logo