Little Did I Know


At ten years old,

Little did I know that a hospice was a place to die.

It sounded like hospital.

Just take off the a, the l, the t,

And tack on an extra c and e.

I thought it was another place to get better,

To get well.

Little did I know what the somber faces around me really meant.


Ironic, that a birthday would be celebrated within its walls.

That I would excitedly show my gifts to my dad,

But ultimately get no response.

Little did I know that it wasn’t just one of his bad chemo days;

As I tried out my new roller skates,

And played my new games,

Little did I know what was about to be taken away.


Night fell and the hours grew dark,

A laptop with a movie, nice in snug in the corner of the room,

Periodically pierced by screams of agony.

Little did I know that the silent, desperate prayers I sent that night would be of no use.

Morning came, I woke up,

The rest is a blur.

The rest is a shock because

Little warning did I receive,

Little did I know.



At just barely eleven years old,

I am unexpectedly fatherless,

But my eyes are dry,

Dry in denial?

Dry in grief?

Dry in shock?

Likely so, but

Maybe there had been that little voice in the back of my mind saying,

“He’s done.”

Maybe I had prepared myself for it.

And now that I think about it,

Maybe there wasn’t much that I didn’t know.


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