MAJ Ira Brown
U.S. Army Medical Corps
Died 9 April 1942
at Camp Grant, Illinois

Without

Without a father,
without the way he kneels down beside
his toddler to explain the petals on a flower

Or the way he says let's go for a ride,
just us two and opens the car door
like Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird

Without the treasures he might bring:
ribbons for my hair, socks with frilly tops,
a Canadian quarter, a blue jay feather

Without his arm around my shoulder
as we unravel a math problem or I model
the dress I'm wearing to the prom

But mostly without the smile that fathers
save for their daughters,
the smile that teaches me to smile.

-- Lois Brown Klein --