Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi via Unsplash




I walk slowly with my father.
.            We match our steps
                        to the tick of the clock.
I walk slowly with my daddy.
His eyes are half-closed,
his hand clasps my arm. 

How wonderful to be so close,
.            his hesitant gaze
                        guiding our conversation.
Words of beginning
.            detach  
from his lips
like the white round egg from its shell.

Door. Hallway. Window. Sky. 

We walk down the hall, past the ward
.            where nurses worry
                        over a new patient.
Eyes rimmed with red, a woman
.            leans against the wall.
It can always be worse.

We’re silent, after, in a full,
.            blue stillness. His hand
rests in my palms.
His face is younger than mine
.            under the white
turban of bandage. 

Soon, he closes his eyes to listen
.            to my new poem.          Soon,
                        I stumble.   Again,
again.     These words
.            don’t relate to us.   They are torn
from the fragile 
body of things
                        that can be told simply.

I walked slowly with my father.


First published in Dappled Things, Pentecost 2019

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