The last we spoke, I apologized
for mixing-up the date of his dinner.
He understood, mentioned next time:
a platitude, a half-believed article of faith.
I was a day late. It would have been the last I saw him.
A dinner party olive-branch—a tentative start,
first gesture to begin to mend the relationship;
more than monthly texts about sports and fishing.
But then his heart quit. The roommate found him
in the morning, hands folded in his rocking chair.
I was left with a collection: disorganized
regrets, his knap-sack, and fishing hat.
Codes and memories to be deciphered and filed.
Impossible task, trimming and adjusting a thread:
a baby with square block and circular hole;
furrowed frustration, piecing together cluttered details—
a story to carry travel-sized meaning.
But the story is unfinished. My dad died
alone in the chair he lulled me in
when I was an infant.
My dad died in that chair, believing
I was ashamed. Now I’m left