Dad at 100

My father was born in 1911.  He would have been 100 today.  His gifts to me were his kindness and generosity.  This poem was published in Artella in 2004

For Dad, Who Died on June 18, 1984

What’s it like, this memory?

Like little fishes swimming

through gauze openings

that thicken over time.

They are there, in my dreams,

in my reverie,

moving in and out of the weave.

Just there, reminding me.

A ship is down,

sitting on the ocean floor.

A ship should sail

but fishes swim

through these portholes.

Walk this deck with me once again.

Fill me with wisdom before we feel the tilt

as the ship

sinks

below

the surface.

Let me taste your spirit; it will sustain me.

I turn back and something scaly slides past my cheeks:

the fishes who remind me.

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