Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The echoes of laughter
That settle like dust
On the closing Sabbath
Imbue faded walls
With the kindly warmth of faces.

Issuing from a host of frames -
Those embassies of decades -
The gawky fads
Of a nervous culture
Obscure pleasant memories.

"Did I really wear that shirt?"

The cumulative joy
Of oft-redeemed moments
Return with severity of sorrow;
Hazy memories of her,
Bent as always
Over her crossword puzzle,
Awaiting the inevitable onslaught
Of hungry youths -
Memories too simple
And too grand
Not to be woven into
The fabric of our myth.

Sitting by the hearth
Is the hunched figure
Of my hero,
Bird-legs crossed
And meticulous snow-draped-melon-head
Bowed beneath the glory
Of love lost -
An earnest of a long hoped-for
Promise yet to be.

He remembers like only
The very strong can;
Between kind words of comfort,
And deep sobs,
And a longing presses in
About my chest,
About the base of my skull,
Threatening my airways.
It is a longing
I have yet experienced
Only in its infancy.

"Give me his pain!" is cries,
And I want to crawl
Into something,
Or envelope something,
But what it is
I don't know.

The sound of heavy footfall
Draws him unceremoniously
From the solace
Of deep reverie
And he lifts his wise head
Probing to recognize.

As I smile weakly
I find my self
Full and untarnished
In his dark eyes.

"Hi dad," I manage,
Not sure how to approach.
"How ya doin?"

And through tears
He smiles
As though amused
That any concern
For how he is
Would be of any consequence.

"Some days are going to be hard,"
He says,
And his tone is clinical.
"But I'm going to be fine.
Lets go eat."

And with a deep heave
He stands,
Tucks in his shirt,
Straightens his snowy hair,
and limps toward the garage door
Saying as he goes,
"Mexican or Chinese?"

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