He sits in his usual place, a sturdy ocean of calm waiting. Heavy repose rests, stoic, in his lap, unperturbed by the silence humming in his drums. Gone is the beat that fanned the fire, the flames from his mouth; someone turned off the gas that combusted in his internal engine.
A stroke of bad luck. A rogue droplet, bent upon mischief, scrambled all his eggs. Now a handful of pills dully keep the leftovers warm.
The old stubborn ox put out to pasture, the bull wandering away, while we venture into the neighborhood to plaster up missing signs. Have you seen him? How is he? We look and look. He is there. He is not there.
In honor of Father’s Day, and my Dad’s 81st birthday (which is today!) I decided to share this prose poem I wrote a while back as a prompt response on Medium. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably read me talking about how my Dad had a major stroke in 2020. I try not to let myself think about his current condition or how drastically different he is now from before; when I consider the reality of it, it makes me so sad that I can easily lose sight of the fact that he is still here with us, which feels like nothing short of a miracle.
I know that lots of people say to hug your loved ones, forgive them quick as you can for any grievances between you, life is short and precious, etc and all that blibbety blah – those words can be eye-rollers, but for me it’s all so true. My Dad used to exasperate me to no end; now, I would give anything for just 5 minutes with him pestering me like he used to. Things can change quickly, y’all! In my family we have this lesson before us to be grateful for what you have because you never know when it might be swept away.
Happy Father’s Day, all you Dads! Here’s to a day of whatever makes you happy, even (especially) if it’s telling groaner jokes and being obnoxious on purpose.