On the Edge of My Father's Dying - Hospital, Miami Beach
by Anne Hosansky (New York)
Daddy dying on the cold barred bed
Do you know the fingers holding you to life are mine?
Blind, you trace my fingertips with yours.
Do you know me by the squareness of my hands?
“Strong hands.” Grudging words days ago
Surprised by my unfamiliar touch
When I held you from falling while we tried
To navigate the corridor. “Leave. . . alone . …”
Voice edged in customary bitterness.
I crave your wrath. It binds us.
timid hand in yours
the child I was
tiptoed through the vaults
of a vast museum
among resurrected remnants
“Vanished from the earth,”’ you said
We, too, are vanished:
The child poised on the fringe of time
And my giant of those days.
kept us from touching
“DO NOT GET TOO CLOSE.”
The hands that clasp across your bed
Have not met this gently
Since our days among the dinosaurs.