New Patriarch

“…You were gone, gone
Gone, gone
Gone, gone
— Patti Smith, “Redondo Beach”

Banana Citroen’s yellow headlights.
Spadework that rarely wears thin after strawberry liqueur.
Sidekicks and foes, loan sharks and lovers and altruists
           -- an entire manifest of honeycombed ploys
plus whipping boy riddles I’ve mulled giving up
not to demolish Mommy through these stanzas.

Rifling our matriarch’s closet for keepsakes
before moving her meek belonging from the condominium,
I hoard Daddy’s fedora, jazzy smoking jacket,
turquoise belt buckle (one notch let out)
           and calfskin loafers (lifts removed)
which look like Poppa’d debuted recently.

I ask Mr. Coffee -- Ma wooed him from JCPenney
on Joe DiMaggio’s say-so -- to make 4 passé cups at 6 a.m.
            though truth be known, Mr. C. never beat me
up with morning words as we Jews often do.
Then putting on those shoes to break leather in,
this evening I’m supposed to walk on their soles they balk…