Soon and Very Soon

I found you there – you were still warm, but we knew you were cold

Sometimes I see you but I know you aren’t there

Your hands smelled like smoke, but that was more permanent than you were

You’d hold me against your chest, grizzled breathing, not a nuisance but a symphony

When we found you, I cried

My body was wracked with sobs, the walls felt like cages – I was a prisoner in my home but I owned a key

You were my father and my friend

You wrapped me in the love a father couldn’t give me

I didn’t need one because I had you


When I found you, my life flashed before my eyes

12 years in one go, plus 12 years more –

My wedding minus one, graduations minus one, my life minus one

The apple of your eye – me

Apples rot - I was rotting

Apples fall from trees – I was falling

You walked out the door to go home but it wasn’t our home

You left me falling and rotting, there’s no Girl Scout badge for finding your dead


You left while I was at a Girl Scout meeting

The motto says “be prepared” but I wasn’t prepared

With all the wisdom you gave me you didn’t prepare me for January 14 at 1 PM

You didn’t tell me you felt tired

You didn’t tell me you were ready to go Home

You didn’t tell me

You didn’t tell me when I left at 9:47 that the last time you’d love me would be at 9:45

You didn’t tell me it’d be harder to wake you up this time


Wake is a funny word

We celebrate eternal sleeping with a word that means living

Rise and shine to celebrate your dead

I rose but I did not shine

I looked at your face and yes, you looked good

You looked the younger side of 82 and you were smiling a little

Gold cross on your chest, you were singing with Jesus “soon and very soon we are going to see the King”

Your soon and very soon was our future


I moved to watch you in your soon and very soon

I could hear you singing in my head

I always hear you singing in my head

I hear you shuffling and coughing and singing and breathing

And breathing

And breathing

But I know you aren’t although I wish you were


I looked at you and I saw the man I’d loved since infancy:

The strong man, the kind man, the wise man, the gentle man, the soulful man

You were a grand man

You guided me with your crooked pinkies – my pinkies

You left me with an appetite to know – your appetite

You left me with your love – your heart beating through my heart

I love you


This poem is about: 
My family


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