Submitted by Philip Fiacco

In honor of Father Anthony P. LaFache, who not only gave me advice on becoming a good writer, but also on becoming a good person.

I talked with him on many a day
Under the oak tree in the park
Whose leaves in the wind would rustle and sway.
I’d lean against the gnarly bark
And share the cool of the air, and simply—talk.
Our conversations would never end
And all those people who’d come to walk
Did truly believe our thoughts did send
A peacefulness into their hearts, which first
Began in ours. We’d talk for hours
’Til the fiery red of the sun would burst
And spread its light as if by heavenly powers.
Then we’d leave and take those pristine paths
Guarded by flowers on either side
And leave the moon to come and give baths
|Of silver to everything it spied.

The tree is gone, the paths are too,
The flowers have long since withered away.
The park, removed, will never be seen by you
And never again by him; he’s absent today.

And yet I feel the bark on my back
And the wind still blows through my hair
The paths I can see, exact to each crack
The flowers, I smell, and lo—he’s there.

We never left the park, still burns the sun
Our conversation will never be done.


  • Philip Fiacco, of the Village of Poland in Herkimer County, knew Father LaFache very well. Philip was a member of St. Joseph–St. Patrick Parish before he came there. The last time he talked to him, he gave him lots of advice about writing. When he heard Father LaFache had died, he reacted with contemplation. After a short time, the idea of a poem about death and remembrance came to him (not about Father LaFache in particular, but about the topic in general, and he made sure to dedicate it to him).

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