as he lay dying

pappy5one grows eerily accustomed to the waiting, almost immune to the life draining away from them in the next room as if the jaundiced sleeping form isn’t human now that its riddled with foreign cannibalistic cells, slowly eating him alive from the inside out

bustling activity beyond his bedroom door feigns significance in comforting his eroding body

an ear pressed against the door jamb crack confirms he still breathes and the bustling resumes

sometimes it is quiet bustling, a mother and their son reviewing funeral home details while other times it is hectic with visiting nurses and concerned tear-laden phone calls to those who care and “should know”

thereafter the quiet sneaks in, unsuspectingly closing around their well-intended activity, knocking them senseless with grief; no drawbridge to escape pain’s onslaught, nor answers to quell their fears, only the rhythmic sound of oxygen pumping from man-made machine to a man’s failing body for these his last drawn out days

he is a husband and a lover, a father and a son; he is the last of the rare renaissance man, and a puzzling parody: an enigma of loving cruelty, tender cynicism, and hopeful apathy

the mother cries alone in the dark away from the adult children and all others, even from him who likely needs most to hear her sadness, her privacy regaled over kinship comfort

pappy4the son ever stalwart in the storm, feigns strength as though his will can beat reality and i the daughter follow their leads for fear of upsetting the balance, relying on parallel play as my battling foe

he breathes shallow but consistent breaths; his abdomen swells and his skin sours and his brain fights and his eyes plead and i would take it all, willingly slice open my vein to take it all from and for him if only i could escape the death of what is true and real in my heart, the inexplicable force that has shaped and influenced me each unto myself, mutually through anger and adoration, resistance and acquiescence

farewell my dearest father


originally written february 2013





E-mail :
%d bloggers like this: