“My Father”

My father never smiled or laughed.

No greeting as I came home from school, just continued cutting or watering the lawn, trimming the hedges; Didn’t smile at me nor my sisters, only his eldest daughter, the quiet, dignified lady, who fed me toast and butter while her son ate steak. Only once he smiled, smiled with pride, when as a young, trim, tanned, handsome youth, I stepped off the old tub that brought me to the island of his birth: volcanic, twisted, burnished mountains, descending to clear blue Mediterranean waters, fragrant jasmine, endless pine groves, firm full breasted, comely, berry brown women, balancing huge pitchers on their braded heads, smelling of night, and love, and dreams. For two weeks my father and I walked arm in arm over the cobble-stoned, horse dunged streets; armies of cousins, aunts, uncles, hugged, kissed and laughed. Back again in America: no smiles, no arm in arm walks, just the watered lawn, and trimmed hedges.

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About Richard Sogliuzzo

A. Richard Sogliuzzo, PhD, former professor of Theatre: State University, New York in Albany and University of Texas, Dallas, where he was also Head of the College of Arts and Humanities, developing interdisciplinary courses in the arts and humanities as well as directing university productions. He is former Los Angeles theatre critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,”; Senior Fulbright-Hays recipient, Italy; and author, “Luigi Pirandello, Director, the Playwright in the Theatre."