On a somber and melancholy evening
I stand gazing over tools veiled in dust and age,
rusted with idleness,
I realize I have seldom lingered
in this hallowed place.
Temple of sawdust and grease,
where father built, mended, and brought to life
both wood and steel,
applying the sum knowledge of life,
to keep cars on the road and walls from caving in.
In my naivete’, I was concerned only with the finished product, the outcome,
and failed to grasp lessons he patiently
endeavored to teach.
In my foolishness, I fell short in noticing his fading eyes,
the catch in his chest that stole breath away and his diminishing stature.
In this sanctum, I am readily reminded of scarred knuckles,
Hours spent repairing automobiles.
My mind races, frantic, searching for the gratitude
that surely must have been heaped upon him
for patching roofs, mending fences,
And tending garden.
The only occasion of appreciation
I can conjure, with any honesty,
is a muttered “Thank You” As I drove off.
That seems such a long Time ago.
it is not real.
It stretches out in to the distance,
fading from view, as it disappears
Time, the well that never fails
to bring nourishing relief to the body and
and unequivocal relief for the soul
with sweet promises of forever.
Then one ordinary morning
we awoke to discover
Time had expired,
there was no more Time,
and no amount of prayer or blasphemy
could earn one more precious moment of Time.
I am still unable to understand
how his hands, unwavering as steel
with the aged texture of burlap over leather,
weakened to the extent
they could no longer squeeze my mother’s hand?
Where did the rare hue of his sapphire eyes disappear to
when it seeped from his eyes.
I never dared to take the measure of my father
with such flawed and mortal mechanisms as I possess,
But rather I gauged his vitality with my heart’s gaze,
always seeing in him the man
whose constancy was like that of the Oak,
whose heart could not be measured in beats,
who would wrestle the Devil to protect his wife and children
I saw my father as he was,
not what his failing health had reduced him to.
My soul aches to hear his peerless laugh,
to touch the callouses on his hands.
It is only now, years since he’s passed, I begin to
comprehend how hard he fought to withstand
the ravages of Time,
how much the man endured
for the opportunity to rise in the morning and be with those he loved.
the miserly force that disappeared when I needed it most
now extends into the distance, beyond the setting sun.
The Time between the breath I take and
my father’s last has grown from weeks to months to years
and will continue receding to the past.
it does little to fill the void created by his absence,
does not make the loss any easier to bare
and does nothing to diminish the Love my father left behind.