My father

See you in the morning

Hands that cradled me
and lifted me to see
the top of the fridge
and played catch with me
can no longer grip a cup to drink.
The shoulders that supported me
and let me watch fireworks
and fly above the rest
are slumped, a t-shirt
hanging like a sheet.

The chest I napped on is sunken
the eyes that watched me grow
can barely see
the mouth that laughed
and yelled
and smiled
and taught me how to drive
and debated me in politics
and cheered on the Cubs
and shared my first beer,
prattles nonsense to those
that aren’t here.

There are diapers again,
but they’re not mine.
There are tears again
and confusion,
but they’re not mine.

There’s a bony hand at the end
of a shaky arm,
reaching out to pet a dog
and unable to reach,
but able to feel.

For the first time his weight
has dropped below mine
and tonight he says what
he said for thirty years
and this time it will
have to last the
rest of my days-
Goodnight, I’ll see you in the morning.


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