16 July 2012

Letting Go

Kat and I sit inside her home
The air conditioner buzzes softly
It keeps us cool from the sweltering heat
Outside our sons race through the sprinklers
Their young laughter fills the air
We sip burgundy wine and compare notes on the price of food
The telephone rings, Kat drops her glass

I wrote you a letter today
It was mom’s idea that I share my news
I do this before Kat drops the glass
In two months time, my life will take a turn
Motherhood lurks around the bend
I’m all alone in Houston

Mom was on the line, call your father
Cheer him up, he’s in the hospital
A veteran of one war, two conflicts, I sense panic
We got the number to the hospital
Kat used her I’m Captain Richardson’s wife voice to inquire

I’ve waited for a response
It’s just like you to ignore me and my thoughts
Years of frustration need to be addressed
Do you remember, telling your cronies
Girls aren’t worth shit, why

One-sided conversation, the doctor answers
You were improving, you had gone to the john
Back in bed, you began to read the paper,
A huge jack-hammer struck your chest
They tried to resuscitate you
Fifteen minutes later you were gone

Did you have any reaction to my letter
Or did you treat it like an ad from the newspaper
I don’t give a shit anymore

Dew blanketed the grass at night
We pulled up to the house in the early morn
Mom was at the breakfast bar, drinking lukewarm coffee
Kat and I console her for all our loss

My son is nine months old
I’m coming home, back to my old job
I hope you will meet us at the airport

Your friends drop by to pay their respects
A crony from World War II spoke with me
‘He was proud of you girl, you always landed on your feet’
I stroked your chilled cheek, thinking back
When I was daddy’s little girl.

6 June 1998

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