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Dad says Grace | small poet at large

small poet at large

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

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