29 February 2012

thinking about my dad

This month has been a hard one for my Dad.  The brother immediately above him in age died about a week and a half ago from liver cancer.  He had been sick for years, but he declined very quickly at the end and even though Dad went out to AZ to be with him at the end, Brian was not coherent when he arrived and shortly thereafter slipped into a coma, dying a couple of days later.

I can't imagine what it would be like to lose one of my sisters, and my father has had to mourn the deaths of 3 of his brothers in the last 20 years, two of them in the last 10.

So, in honor of my wonderful Dad who I love up to the moon, here is a reprise of a poem I wrote about him a few years ago.  This was prompted by a memory from when I was around 5 or 6.

Her first Father-Daughter dance

He lounges in the brown tweed Lay-Z-Boy,
the sound of raucous, cheering fans,
competing with the crunch of Fritos.

She is six and doesn’t understand
football belongs to men.
No Girls Allowed.

A creak, the chair leans back, arm raised
for the pass, next moment he is on his feet
shouting at the officials: Fourth down!

Sometimes she crawls onto his lap,
he buttons her into his big brown sweater.
In whispers her education begins.

His beard scratches her ear as he unfolds
Walter Payton’s record; the importance
of a good wide receiver

Soon she joins the groan at the fumble,
the botched two-point conversion or
the missed hold call.

17 to 20! two-minute warning!
The Bears run out—a punt return.
It will take a miracle!

She grips her Dr. Pepper.  
It doesn’t matter that she is too warm under the sweater.
It doesn’t matter she is not a son.


MommaMary said...

That is absolutely wonderful!!! dad loves it!!!
Great description of Sunday Football with the kids.
Love you,

Alex said...

I really like that. Great title and final couplet in particular.

P.S. Found your blog again and this time have added to my bookmarks.