My father never saw my house
though without his modest savings
we never could have bought it.
My father didn’t know his grandson
past the age of ten, but today at 28
my boy has his eyes
and many of his talents. My father
died thirsty. We couldn’t fill
his needs; no one could.
He had a big personality, my mother
would say, sucked the air
out of a room, needed you to pay
attention to his every word, a wall
of talk we wanted to jump over.
My father could tell a good
joke, do the accents, had the timing.
Why wasn’t that appreciated.
He could sell anything, untangle a knot
out of the most delicate chain.
His stuff looked nice, his paintings framed.
He’d serve pats of butter on a dish
restaurant style. Our people leave us
and we let them go. They fade
into the tapestry of the dead,
an occasional memory slapping us
in the face tapping us on the shoulder
kissing the breeze by our cheek.
We wait for the wind to blow
these reminders, like it did for me today,
just now, in my garden that he never saw,
but would have loved, even though my roses
are struggling, their white petals dropping
thirsty they are; so ready for a drink.