Tuesday, July 7, 2009

MY FATHER

will slowly lumber
from wherever
he is standing
or sitting
or sleeping,
and snuggle
next to a worm
or the charcoal hothouse
with as little
or with as much
understanding
as when he slid
down the wet fleshy mouth
held opened
and fastened
by pain
and promises.
if he does
indeed fall,
which is much more likely,
he’ll not notice
the bounce
of objects
near,
how they will lift themselves
and sometimes fly
from their moorings;
he will not feel
the heft of three hundred pounds
making room for itself;
he will not hear the sounds
that bodies sing when kissing
concrete, or woolen carpets,
or floorboards, tiles, linoleum,
or the soft feathers
of pillows
scarred by the indentations
of dreams.
he will have died
without being suckled
by all the women
who held him
through endless days
and nights; he will
have died
without his sons
who suckled him
in ways
they shouldn’t have,
coming to rescue
a panoply of errors
of judgment,
of haste,
of impulsiveness,
of lies, deceits,
betrayals, of pitting
one against the other,
in self-serving cruel
and merciless acts
of benevolence.
when his breath
cuts the dust of rest
and reward, he will have gleaned
no further understanding
of who
or why
this is,
only a lament
to a world
unaware
of how fine
and generous
a gentleman
he truly was.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2004

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