My father's on his deathbed
lying as he will lie
till the last breaths go out.
All around him
the muted hush of hospital hallways.
I do not think of the past
those delicate, melancholy notes,
always in my life,
accompany this last act.
He played them once. I listened.
And despite his brute anger, his absence,
he did give this love
in the only way he could: through his fingers,
connected to his inarticulate heart,
in the flung body on his mother's grave,
that was surrounded by the dark.
When he was gone
and we walked out into the night
I looked for the moon.
It was, rightly, hidden,
but the night was somehow ablaze
with what had been accomplished:
a man's last breaths
a man's last notes
the slow movement
had come to the silence
of its end
11 June 2009