Monday, June 04, 2007

his falling

from choir's party
to this long sleep, this weeping—
red rose turned to white

one day whole, the next he falls into slack lethargy. no desire to eat, to move, to get out of bed. we give him a bath, and after his long nap, he's so weak, he soils the bed. last week he walked with me a mile through architectural wonders and long green lawns. tonight I drive him to the ER and leave him hours later as they take him to the room he'll probably die in. a liter of fluid drained through a catheter from the flexing sack around his heart. now his lungs fill with mermaid tears: salt waters of sleep. no resurfacing, no matter how they scan or attack his failing. it's all coming apart; I am too. I clench myself against fears that erode resolve into ambiguity. what can I do but hold his hands, large surgeon's hands, now bony and spotted, and wait. it's day to day, now. everything's microscoped into each moment's crisis, need, resolution. so few days ago, we made plans for another long road trip, a cross-country voyage, dad telling stories, son driving and recording it all. he had been so interested in living; so healthy; so ready to believe in redemption, in the will to overcome.

my father's long leaving, suddenly confronted
after his twilight had been so recently brightened

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