Dad says Grace
- For Melvin Fox on his 90th birthday
gathered in the whipple waiting room
we trade tales of Dad
flashlight flush to chin flame cheeks he follows us
we giggle slow to be caught raised to the ceiling
hair blown back around bald spot motoring the convertible
brother-sister-brother bounce on back seat
rain falls top stays down takes Einstein to raise it
three generations of progeny learn to crow
My name is Yon Yohnson, I come from Wisconsin, I work
by the lumber mill there in the same off key cacophony
Mom stops pacing calls the nurse hears laughter in the OR asks
What's the delay?
nurse replies Have to wait to stabilize his blood levels.
Meanwhile he's telling us joke after joke.
I drive Dad into Boston today is liver biopsy day
a long needle in the abdomen while the patient is awake
Dad asks to stop for coffee for Mom & me
comments on steel sky orange leaves wispy clouds
asks if I remember the foliage train into Vermont
wonders where we should eat on the ride home
Dad is bedridden
weighs less than homecoming from Guam
he smiles when I walk into his room
I tell him I have cancer
he asks What can I do?
Published in Boston Literary Magazine
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize
All rights reserved including copyright - Richard H. Fox 2013
full sized image here