Sunday, January 4, 2015

A poem a day for 2015 - day 4 - Missing my father

When my father died
I flew from Georgia to California
I sat on the edge of his bed like a leaf
Afraid to blow away
Knowing I couldn't fold myself into the fitted sheet
And stay
Stay and smell the liquor on his breath that was gone
Stay and hear his stories
About Viet Nam
About construction and brick bar b cue pits
There was nowhere to stay

I remember I didn't know what to do with my hands
So I kept them on my lap
There was a picture of me taped on his wall
Did he think of me before he left
There is nowhere to stay
When the man who has always loved you
Whose face and feet you carry
Is gone

I wanted his gun
To keep it and hold it
Heavy in my hands
I ended up with his shirts instead
If I had is gun I would pretend to be
A bad motherfucker
Like he was
Like Mouse was in Devil in a Blue Dress

If I had my father's gun I would post it on my mantle
And stare at it all the day
I would take it down and load it with magic bullets
I would kill all the heart attacks waiting
And no one else's father's heart would attack
No other daughter would miss her father six years later
Fathers would stop dying

I wear his shirts instead
I miss him today
I am not changing the world
Fathers are still dying
Heart attacks are happening
I am a bad motherfucker though

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