Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Commemoration, by Madeleine Wallenbarger

Commemoration, by Madeleine Wallenbarger

Commemoration

 

Today is Charlie Chaplin’s birthday.

In his honor, my father breaks a tire,

works in silent comedic

struggle to change it.

 

I stand on the corner.

My heels aerate the soil.

Brother turns the levers, shifts

machinery as needed.

 

We refuse the help of strangers,

we huddled, we tired,

we tire, tire, tire. Charlie,

what I remember

 

is your mustache, your hat

and your scamper. We, inept, would make you proud.

We’d build you a wagon,

burdened by loose wheels,

 

and a door perfect for slamming.

We’d paint ourselves sepia,

two-toned, like the drawings

of parts in the instruction manual.

 

— Madeleine Wattenbarger

 

Madeleine Wattenbarger is a senior at Germantown Friends School. She lives in Mount Airy.

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