Monday, February 24, 2020

The Rest

The Rest

No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper thy peace to my soul.

Was it cirrhosis or Old Timer's disease?
None of us knew, but Dad wasn't Dad anymore -
those skinny arms, those blue eyes once so fierce
were now old milk. Oh, now he could be fierce
when he was defied, but we knew it was the disease.
That was what he had become, nothing more.
Taking the family picture; Dad not moving:
Thanksgiving weekend was an eggshell ballet.
The grandkids wanted stories that were not there.
I don't know what we gave thanks for but there,
at the end of the table, Dad sat, never moving.
Eyes open and hands clawed like they were when he lay
next year in the hospice bed as we all watched
his left angular artery push out his genius
and we closed those milk-blue eyes. As everyone
let go to hold each other, I still held one
cold claw of his in mine. I sat and watched
longer than the rest, trying to stay his genius.

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