10 Years Since Dad Died

Dad,

These are the days where I,

With special clarity,

With attentive mind

Give heed to the cavern in my heart.

These are the days where I wonder

And I miss your smile.

The days I remember.

 

Now that I am twenty

I have missed you as long as I ever knew you.

I understood you so much less then than I do now.

But I know I knew you more then.

Back when I could smell the scent of your cologne

Over the scent of your tobacco.

Back when I could feel your scratchy whiskers

Over the unshaven stories.

Back when I could hear your loud music and could see your big truck

Over the shared memories in home videos.

Back when I could recognize your laugh

And you could mine

And I could remember.

 

Now it’s been too long

And I can’t really anymore.

I recall the stories.

I have the pictures.

I barely clutch the impressions – the feelings

Let alone the moments I should really remember.

 

It’s unfair that the little memory I have is of that morning

The one I still own is the one of golden light in my window -

Of that tremendous peace, of somehow being prepared –

Of walking out to my mother’s news and tears.

She knew that for me – this was a new road.

She knew, as she still does – that grief isn’t spent all at once.

She knew that grief comes in pieces or it would piece us apart.

It comes little by little.

It comes at the milestones.

It comes in the moments where you might be proud.

Or the moments you wouldn’t -

And when I realize how much you have missed -

How little you know me -

How little I know you -

How little I remember.

 

And what I wouldn’t give to know you now -

And what I wouldn’t give to ask you your stories –

And to know more about you –

And to know your grown-up story instead of your censored one –

And to know about your life and not just hear about it –

And to know if you really are proud of me or not –

And to know if you think I am beautiful –

And to know –

And to remember.

 

 

 

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My family
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