(For Dad's 87th Birthday)
Memories dim and refracted
In days gone and presently lived
Of Daddy’s voice, barely remembered.
But presence magnified/ residue like
Star dust everywhere
And in everything I am.
He taught me a man can love
With beauty beyond gender
Nourish a garden he didn’t
Even know how to plant. How
Did you do it, I asked him, that
Last day together sharing breath
And hearts beating like sad Djembes:
How did you raise me, a star child,
To love and sing and be poetry.
To hug my sons with your embrace
So strongly folded around me now
Felt more deeply as age condenses
On my life like morning dew or
Foggy chill of night’s inevitability
You said you didn’t know. You
And Moms just prayed and did
Prayed and did the best you could
God’s mercy was in that last goodbye.
The grace of summation, earth’s cycle
Closing only to reopen somewhere unknown
I carry you in my bones, chastened there
Into diamond by fires deep in there. I carry
You in the wonder of my sons seeing and reaching.
Beyond you, beyond me, beyond this plot of earth
Where I stand in prayer and praise, thankful
That I can stand where I am, memories dimming,
Soul stirring love, your gift to me, tender powerful.
Still showing me the way I should go.
For more poems like this, check out 'Grandpa's Gift'