Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Father's Day

On the day my father died
I was the first to get the call
from 1200 miles away
on a rain-soaked sidewalk
in front of a Rite-Aid
in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
My coworker
Miss Collette
watching through the window
rushed outside
to see what was wrong
and held me
in the rain while I cried
I had to call my brothers
and my sister-in-law
and my mother
who could not hear me
and thought I said
Tigger is dead
No, Mom, my cat is fine
It’s my father who’s gone
A few stunned hours
and a flight later
I was as cold
as northeastern Pennsylvania
in early April
when winter doesn't know
that it should have
turned to spring
and all the sounds
are still frozen to the ground
On the day my father
was laid to rest
his body was not
the only thing
that went into the darkness
and never came back
Now every day is Father’s Day
to a girl who still feels guilty
about that money
she borrowed
for her cat’s emergency surgery
and never got to pay back
Every day is Father’s Day
to a girl who knows he was fine
with talking once a week
because she talks
so goddamn much
but she still wishes
she had called more often
Every day is Father’s Day
to a girl who wakes
breathless in mourning
dreams every morning
she's held underwater
and wonders
what kind of daughter
she'd been
Every day is Father’s Day
to a girl
who never got to say goodbye