Monday, June 11, 2012

“You’re Always Gonna Be My Baby”

He introduced me
to many things
I still love
to this day:

the Marx Brothers,
Little Richard
and movie musicals.
He had a great voice
and would sing
along with the soundtracks
“Oklahoma!” and
“West Side Story” on nights
when my mom
went to ceramics
as he washed
and put away the dishes.

I never saw him
without his wedding ring
and he never stayed out
after work having beers
with his buddies:
his place was home
with my mom,
and he liked it.

When I was nine,
I wanted to build a scooter
so we scoured garage sales
just to find some old skates
to use as wheels,
because anyone could buy
new wheels, but
it took real talent to recycle.
Plus, it was cheaper.

He’d always put me on his team
when we played two-on-two
anything with my two brothers
because I was the chunky,
unathletic one,
and all my cousins loved Uncle Dan
because he always included everyone
and never left anyone out
when we played games.

He had an undeniable sweetness,
an unpretentious, inviting smile,
but he was nobody’s fool.

He taught me about
taking care of my tools,
doing hard work, and
making sure you finish your jobs.

His sense of humor
is what I miss the most:
he made me laugh
without bitterness
without irony.

He wasn’t cool,
but he didn’t have to be.

I didn’t know
he was going to die
so young.

Favorite memory:
when I was 30
he bailed me out
of an awful jam.
It was an embarrassing
humiliating spot,
and all I could say was
“I’m sorry,
but I feel like such a baby, Pop.”

With mock seriousness
he answered:
“I don’t care if
you’re 100 years old,
you’re always gonna
be my baby.”

I still miss you
every single day.

Thanks for everything, Pop.

(Written for #OpenLinkNight at - the best source for poetry on the internet.)


  1. This is a beautiful, beautiful tribute, Mosk.

    1. Thanks, de. Not so much a poem, but I went shopping for Father's Day cards and these thoughts tumbled out.

    2. Everything you ever, ever write is a poem, my friend. Everything.

  2. This is so heart-warming. What a guy! But I'm going crazy trying to figure out who the record album is by. He holds it up but it's too grainy to read it. Maria Muldaur maybe?

    1. :) Oh, no, nothing that artful. It's Vikki Carr, remember my Pop was a Mexican and to the viejos she's "La Vikki." He was a sweetheart, and sometimes a real pain in the ass, so of course I'm his son. I have his forehead and nose. Lucky me. :) (I"m not in the film - those are my brothers.)

  3. Mosk, it is really cool to see some of your family in the video. And yes, I think most parents feel the same way... The kid is the kid no matter if he/she is 5 years old or 45. Loved your poem, and hope YOU have a Happy Father's Day.

    1. Thanks - yes that's Mom and Pop Moskowitz circa 1976. I was very very blessed, thanks for the kind wishes, Mosk

  4. Awww... what a lovely read. Your pop looks like he had such a great personality. He had a huge smile in every single clip. He sounds like a wonderful man to have for a father. OMgoodness Vikki Carr's name brings back some memories. I never forget seeing her alwats crying when she sang... "let it please be him Oh dear God..." Awww
    Loved this read Mosk!

    1. Thanks, yes, I used to call him "Smiley." I've written about his tough father side in so many poems, I had to let you know why I loved him so. I also loved Vikki's "With Pen in Hand." Yes, he especially loved Vikki Carr's records en espanol. There was one song called "Se Acabo" which was so dramatic we all loved it.

  5. This is such a beautiful tribute to him and to the love you have for him---it says a lot about you actually --Lovely!

    1. Thanks - yes, he was a great guy - which makes seeing Father's Day cards at the Hallmark just a little bittersweet.

  6. What a magnificent elegy and father's day poem. I feel as though I knew him. A little "Moonstruck" here too, such an homage and Vicki Carr too, for good measure!

    1. Thanks so much - and Yes, he loved "Moonstruck." And "My Cousin Vinny."

  7. killing me man...made me shed a tear...we went from different perspective on the dad was all he did and losing him that struck me...good stuff man...smiles.

    1. Well, from what I've read, you're every bit as good a father as my Pop. Thanks so much, Happy Father's Day, Mosk

  8. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Wonderful tribute!

  9. jeepers... sniff.... you totally made me cry.

    this is so beautiful, i feel much the same way about my father. a lovely, lovely tribute.

    1. Thanks - I made myself cry too. He was a real sweetie.

  10. I read this aloud & my voice quavered at the end. Wonderful character portrait of what sounded like a wonderful man.

    1. Thank you, and I'm glad you liked it. Yes, he was tops.

  11. Anonymous5:43 PM

    Very touching tribute to your Dad...Thank you for sharing this!

  12. Undeniably wonderful attribute to a VERY cool man, as is made so clear by your words. You were blessed!

    1. Yes, I was very blessed. I plan on sending this poem to my mom in a Thank You card. Thanks for your kind words.

  13. What a wonderful smile, huh? What a beautiful and thoughtful piece. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. :-}

  14. oh wow...sounds like he was an awesome man...brought tears to my eyes..

  15. Anonymous8:29 AM

    Oh my God, I'm in tears, honestly.
    Didn't expect that.
    I remember being 14 in Rome and being pickpocketed after I'd stolen $100 for sweets for my friends at home, and getting a big hug from my dad.
    He did that all the me out of trouble.

    The poem is dead on honest - it's awkward refusal to submit to sentiment - or rhythm - slots it straightly into my heart.

    And great video.

    Good grief.

    1. Yes, my Pop fished me out of a few too. Thanks, the tears are a tribute to my dad.

  16. cool and timely poem...sweet

  17. Bruddah mine, so glad you posted this tribute at dverse, where it will get the widest readership. You have a knack for humanizing characters by adding details some folks would overlook, especially, "I never saw him without his wedding ring." That alone speaks to his commitment and fidelity. You are lucky to have had such a great dad. No wonder you're a great dad, too! Your sistah, Ameleh

  18. Thanks Ameleh, I'm glad you caught that: I try to say a lot with a single well-chosen detail. Yes, I was a lucky guy.

  19. What a fine tribute to your father. Sounds like he was such a special person, a treasure among fathers.

  20. He wasn't cool but he didn't have to be. This speaks volumes to me. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt piece. Happy Father's Day.

    1. Thanks, I think that's how a good father is: not too concerned with his own image.

  21. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Truly moving... with no "poetic secrets", it just felt very honest and real. I hope you don't think it's cheesy of me to say that somewhere out there, he must be very proud & honored that his son wrote him such beautiful words.

    Hope you had a good Father's Day!

    1. Thank you very much - nothing cheesy about your kind words. Yes, had a great Father's Day - my wife was ill, so I brought in bar-b-q ribs and we watched a "Hot in Cleveland" marathon. Was a wonderful time.

  22. Absolutely beautiful tribute. I've just recently lost two dads--my biological dad 2 years ago, and my stepdad, 2 months ago. They both called me their baby girl. At 45, I wish I could hear it again from both of them.