Daddy's Tale

July 1, 2008
By Elyzabeth Cook, Caribou, ME

You bet he’s reckless.
It’s in his nature, the very beat
Pumping out of his heart
There are things now that I must share
With a whisper, quietly now, move in close
He’s a cripple.
But only his body is cracked
His spirit reigns strong
Just one shaky, off balanced body
Mingling in self battle
He wants his life
He wants to use his skills
Of carpentry and tools
As he robotically lifts his glass
Swallowing the pills
Like skittles into the pink well of his mouth
A Childs mouth, a restless tongue

He was dark with sullenness
As he lit his cancerous candle
He now pretends to smoke
He crinkled his eyes
Against the smoke
When the cigarette exhaled into ash
Falling from where he leaned
Against the door frame to the floor
Missing his body with grace
He stared, eyes clouded over
With all the disease

I watched him walk
Out into the night
Viewing the constellations
Of second chances
Wishing, just wishing hard

With raw, tearless sobs
I could detect his smell
Near me
The marlboro cigarettes
Box top, full flavor
The coffee with one sugar
Fresh cut wood
And something green

The smell I’d remember
Him by
I could taste what
One day would be lost

And it was in that moment
That I realized this years
There is nothing more
Excruciating, more terrifying
Then the idea of
Turning away from him
Like so many before me
It’s an impossibility
Of mine

As he keeps his secret
Close to him
Like a poker hand
Thinking no one knows
Thinking, just thinking

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