My father died February 13, 2012.
To remember is to heal.
A requisite cycling of grief.
The remembering is terrifically awful.
In my mind are blood-red carnations
let loose amidst winter’s chill.
In fragrant tribute they softened the dirt of decay,
taunting death with the beauty of Hope.
Your mortality rests in mysterious completion,
enveloped in wood and cement.
Etched in placid formality is your name — our name.
You left us the fruit of integrity.
Immense is the void of you.
A reluctant child, I stand drop-jawed and small,
grateful, afraid —
This is hard, dad.
But you know that.
We all come to know this anguished separation.
Still, I long for more —
For another, “That’s my boy!”
For a glimpse of your wink and nod.
For the warm fullness of your squeeze on my shoulder.
Such are a father’s gifts.
You were generous.
A catalyst to my manliness.
Stability, strength, and tenderness.
Now it’s my turn.