Memories Of My Father

When I look at my son, I see his love for his father
and his father’s love for him
undying, never wavering
something that stems only from within
Yet when I think of my own father,
the well of memories run dry
there’s a bit of this, a snippet of that
there’s not a lot, no matter how hard I try
but one memory does stand out,
and it’s an obscure one at best
it’s when I woke up from surgery
and there he was, holding my hand, at rest
his eyes were closed, as if he were sleeping
and when I stirred, he, too, awoke
stroking my hand, avoiding the pic line
my own voice barely a croak
“Anesthesia can give you amnesia,” he said
“and I hope that you’re okay.”
But I knew then that even if I forgot all
I’d never forget that day
For that’s the only time I ever saw him
so vulnerable and so alone,
he loved me the best he ever could
doing everything so I could stand on my own.
But amnesia hits me now as I sit here
thinking of moments that we once shared
for all that comes is when he stroked my hand that day
a hero so vulnerable, his greatest weakness bared.

Apophasis

It’s almost a year since you’ve been gone
and I often find myself thinking about you
Remembering the laughter in your eyes
even when everything was falling apart around you.

For so long that I can ever remember,
you always relished your precious freedom
you found the woman who was your equal
while our mother almost lost all reason

So I tried so hard to not be like you,
a man with too many lovers
But I only ended up playing the field,
though my heart was too slow to recover

the way yours always did,
the quick way that you moved on
it was a curse I had to bear,
still loving those so long gone

Sometimes I find myself thinking of your final days
hearing the last words you spoke to me then,
still the distance was too great between us
though I knew we’d never see each other again

So as this year goes slowly by,
the first year of really being without you
but it’s like you’ve been gone long before you were really gone –
Did it feel the same for you, too?

My Mary Magdalene

Where I grew up, so long ago
Easter was a serious affair
They’d take down the statue from the cross,
A simple piece of wood now laid bare

Sometimes we did the stations of the cross,
Taking our turns in line with everyone
I prayed the best that I ever could
Asking forgiveness for every wrong that I’d done.

Saturday there was nothing on TV
But a man being nailed to the cross
Again and again, hour after hour
The faithful seeking what was lost

Sunday, when the sun arose
The lillies now all in bloom
At mass, they’d say, “He is risen!”
And the sighs would fill the room

“For He has died for our sins,” they’d say
“Now risen for our salvation!”
While at home, my mother would sit alone
Forever in silent supplication

For in her heart, there was no reprieve
that even He, the Son, could offer
She was forever Mary Magdalene
But with no one there to forgive her.

Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena, 1835
Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena, 1835