Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Grief, eight months on

It seems like the files in the file cabinet that neatly held everything are now disorganized and bursting even though the file named "Dad" seemed to have enough room when I slid it in there. The capacity in the other files has become constricted and now I have to reorganize it all, bit by bit, not really knowing which pieces of paper have been squeezed out until I try and find them.

"That whole thing with Papa just sucked" I tell my daughter during errands Saturday.
"It sure did" she replies.
Even at 14 she understands better than anyone just how much is held in those few words between us. Months of days of hours of individual incidents, conversations, hopes, reversals, interventions, treatments that make up the specific story of my father's death. They lose their focus over time, condensing neatly down, the details not lost but dissipating out and in some ways infecting everything else in a minute way.

Wouldn't it be interesting if you could defragment your brain.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Need Food

Four small kids
Sitting with you at the curb
Of my affluent suburb strip mall.
How could they know
They were pawns in your struggle?
Sacrificing their dignity
For handouts.
You know it
As I look in your eyes-
You know I can’t walk by
Those little faces unmoved.

You turn away, mumbling
A barely heard thank you
The kids eagerly offering to carry
Bags of groceries bigger than they are.
Will they ever see the
Four chocolate bars tucked inside?
I can’t give them back their pride.
Am I feeding the problem?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Powerlines cross water
Lilies harboring their rumble of bullfrogs
Following the path of miscast fishing reels
A tangle of bobbins and hooks caught near the feet
Of his blue silhouette.
Dusk brings out the zigzag flutter of bats
Harvesting a sky full of tiny wings
Your eyes can't help but track their flight
So that by the time your gaze recalls,
The silhouette is no more.

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