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
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.