Posted tagged ‘poem to my father’

Penultimate

April 29, 2017

Penultimate

You could no longer swallow, so after they finally let us say no
to the tubes, they wrapped you in white and wheeled you
out into what felt like a plastic lozenge but was also
the only way home.

It was a bitter day, and the white just thin
cotton–the gurney spindling and shaking
in the wind, the curb too high, the door too slow, nothing fast enough
in that bright blow–

so I, having flown down from winter,
wedged my woolen hat
around your head, armed your chest
with my coat
but they were women’s wear, the hat crocheted
with big petal flowers, and you
my father,
and as I worried that you’d die in them, the word dignity
ricocheting about my head, I determined that you would not die,
not on that
way home, and making (maybe) some kind of joke,
laid my head gently gently
against yours, the hat brim whiskering
my cheek

while your eyes, slitted, tried
to smile, while mine kaleidoscoped time,
and as the ambulance began its swerves,
the wagon swinging even though it did not race, I held to some
metal rail, and you to something
else, and the heat
came on at last
with the engine,
and we made it
all right.

 

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Draft poem for Brendan’s wonderful prompt on Real Toads to write about the penultimate, or other related matters–best to read the post itself.  Drawing and photo of drawing mine.  All rights reserved. 

If I have time and will may try to post a few new (drafty!) things to make up missed days in April. (Sigh.)  Congrats to the stalwart who have posted every day this month! And congrats to others too who have done their best!