#4: Letter to my father
You would not like it here
The world is so far removed from what you remember
That you’d be sad, your head dropped down like I had seen it
Once or twice when you thought I didn’t notice.
I saw it when you talked about my sister, a realization of loss
When you saw a harder side of her, a betrayal of your “sweet Sisi”;
I know you blamed yourself, even though you cast the cause elsewhere
But I heard it in the tone of your voice, equal parts disbelief and resignation,
And saw it in the angle of your back as you sat on one of those high stools
In her house that we both hated,
Your head retracting between your shoulders
Into a flat stillness.
I don’t know what you’d think about our country right now
Having failed at everything we set out to protect.
You’d be mad as hell I think
Like when you were in the hospital
Three months in and out of the ICU before you died
Attached like Frankenstein before he was unleashed
And you smiled at me when I came in your room
Holding up the tube for your colostomy bag,
That you decided to yank out
Full of defiance and fight.
I wish you were here, Dad
So we could talk every day
And you’d let me go on and on about whatever was on my mind
Mom tries but I can hear her weariness through the phone
But she lovingly puts up with me, because she knows what I know,
That you and I are the same.