Why Is This Night Different? – A Poem


The table set for everyday-

my father, leaning in;

two or three gathered.


His usual shyness at supper- the rub

of indignity against composure;

his cane, his chair.


His voice barely brushed the air-

like a soft thing – glancing

the cold edges of a brash world,


where all his lived memories

hovered, homeless like beggars,

until his last possible syllables:


me too– (impossible!)- pierced

right through our seasoned amens

and, so be it – me too


transfigured nine dissolving decades

spent silencing

the auguries of doves.


Even so, we resumed supper, unknowing

the possessiveness of time – or that

all he kept stored was slated to crash.


The teasing barbs, we knew;

the comic shrugs, the jabs

at the belly and its members-


the traits of a man slowly plodding –

dousing his humiliations

in the salve of avoidance.


But this, this me too was a breakaway

of atoms – two spits of proof

eclipsing a lifetime of nights!


And all we could do was bend

to the blessed Ghost who ministered

in the stillness of those last possible hours.