My Papa

January 19, 2012
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My Papa
My eyes fell on the topic of the room
His skin appeared fake.
Like someone made a wax figure of his body.
The wrinkles
not all there.
Where was the light purple vain,
that ran down his right cheek?
Why is he in this brown suit,
Lying on these white pillows?
Who is this man,
trying to look like my grandfather?
Were they trying to make him look asleep?
If so they did it all wrong.
My Papa slept with his mouth slightly open,
hands placed in his front pockets,
And was never silent.
It was dead silent
around his casket.
I was afraid to come near it.
Afraid my eyes would flood with tears
And I would weep noisily.
Afraid people would feel sorry for me.
Sorrier than they already felt.
That’s why I stayed away.
Kept my distance
form the lifeless body in the corner.
At his funeral
I could no longer be alone
I was forced to stare
Stare until tears blurred my view
And gushed down my face.
But not before I caught a glimpse
of my own father’s tears
streaming down his cheeks
and falling onto his lap
where they disappeared
into his black suit.
When his eyes caught mine
my heart stopped.
It was hard to look at his sad eyes
Bloodshot and puffy.
It was the first time
That I saw my Dad cry.
My heart broke
I choked on my sobs.
My ears stuffed with the sniffles
and wailing of others.
My hands trembled against my sisters.
Head throbbed from pinching my face to tight.
Trying not to scream
That wasn’t really my Papa
up there in that oversized box.
My Papa was a plump old man.
His blue eyes dropped at the sides.
A pipe always sat in his mouth.
He wore blue jeans with suspenders.
And smelled like vanilla tobacco.
My Papa is talking with those
That he lost long ago
Bragging about his family
Who he is looking down upon.

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