Friday, August 20, 2010

Family Reunion

For J.N.

My dad is going deaf. He always was
A little hard of hearing. A drillpress
Drilling through your ears, some hearing loss
Is normal. “Can I help?” “Sure, I guess.”

My father picks up my backpack. His hands,
Though just as large as I remember them,
Seem, somehow, different. Softer. He stands
Stooped. Semi-retired. Sixty-seven

Now. I’ve flown home for a funeral.
When I last saw him he was forty-five,
So untalkative, so uncomfortable
With what I said. Seeing him alive,

Trying so hard, leaves me wondering
How I can help him carry that huge thing.

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