My Father In A Facebook Age

Oh, I think he’d be all over Facebook.
Even if he died before e-mail, before cell phones,
before desktops or laptops,
before dot-coms, before the Web had a capital letter.
Our olive green rotary phone still had a bell. And a cord.
An Orwellian year, we thought, nineteen-eighty-four.
Who knew then what we would want to see?

But I can see him now.
He’d post pictures of his granddaughters,
narrate his online travel slide shows,
review The King’s Speech,
tell you about books he’d been reading,
rejoice over the latest Giants or Niners win.
I can see him writing status updates,
searching Epicurious for his dinner parties,
asking me about Twitter.
He’d still be playing all-night chess games
with my cousin, just on Facebook.
(A show tunes guy at heart, yes:
he might even DVR Glee.)

Before Dad died
he bought one of the first VCR’s,
the remote control still
attached to the silver machine
with a long black cable.
Over decades of photography
he took rolls of black-and-white photos,
carousels of color slides,
albums upon albums of Polaroids.

The film changed, but not
his love of holding on to the moment.
Dinners were for eating together,
houses were for gathering the family.

So I think he’d know what to connect, and how,
and why.
I think he’d know what all this noise is about.

 

(A bit of fun here, while I’m working on the introduction to the book. More on next steps in the next post.)

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