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Thinking of my father today

My father, Thomas Swift, pictured, who died just over 14 months ago, was born on this day in 1939. He'd have been 68 today. Thinking of him, I offer this poem, about him and my mother, first published in Winter Tennis (DC Books, 2007).

Action Comics

Tom Swift sold Action Comics
Outside the Amazing Gladstone’s
Theatrical Acts of Illusion

To men and women in Forties hats
Who’d pay a nickel for diversion,
Some men stooping for Blackhawk,

Women reaching for Plastic Man.
Far beyond the magician’s curtains,
A fighter pilot was sawn in half

By a German’s ack-ack, or some "Jap"
With a sneer would make the heroine
Disappear with rope and a blackjack.

All this action without applause,
In the theatre of war, that long winter
Sometime just after ‘44, when

My mother was born, in Quebec,
Unaware my father would sneak
Up on ice skates and blind her eyes

With mittens like the fold
Gladstone tied round his assistant’s
Pretty face, but not as cold.


poem by Todd Swift
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