Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures

by Joan Thiel Blessing

Today I heard laughing
helps prevent heart attacks.
Smiling may be beneficial
but wholehearted laughter
does the most good.
Spontaneous eruptions
like those unholy
howls the Marx Brothers
roused in my father. Sprung
from his recliner
he’d reenact a scene. Let loose
hoots that left him choked
and wheezing. When he
was old, hearing all but gone,
I promised tapes
of silent films he loved:
Chaplin, Harold Lloyd,
the best of Buster Keaton.
Oh Dad, I didn’t understand
the urgency. I should have
made a festival for you.

Author’s Comment: An article on the connection between laughter and a healthy heart became the catalyst for this poem, which honors my father’s raucous sense of humor while giving expression to the sorrow I felt about an unfulfilled promise.

Bio: Joan Blessing, a retired lawyer and editor, divides her life between Hendersonville, North Carolina, and Naples, Florida . Her work has appeared in flashquake, Pinesong, Kakalak, moonShine review, The Legal Studies Forum, and other publications.

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