Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Poem a day 2015: 22

Dreaming of You, Dad

Amazing how, now that you’re gone,
I think of you more and more often,
and you enter my dreams with some
regularity -- a strong, slim presence

such as you were in the sixties, before
the stresses of academia and fakery,
the pressures of fatherhood and family,
inflated you with anger and despair.

I can’t quite recall your words as you
offer casual opinions about world affairs
and my ongoing place in them, or advice
for navigating a position in administration

with a modicum of grace, despite the
hidden snakes and the open haters
(you’ve figured out, it seems, that
I’m slated to move into it in August),

but I do remember your sweet smile
and the shine in your eyes, warm now
with love and appreciation. I can even
reinvent, like the afterscent of smoke

soaked into my clothes, the feel of your
strong arm around my shoulders and
the rub of your hands down my skin
as you pull me in against you.

These dreams reassure me. It seems
you are indeed in a better place. But
they also make me sad -- to know that
some of us have to die in order to love.

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