Sunday, July 4, 2010
Three Years of Silence
When my father died, on July 4, 2007, my step-brother was in high school. Dad entered Collin's life when Collin was five, and they formed a very close bond. Collin's older siblings had long moved out, and so it was just Collin, Candyce, and Dad in the house for most of Collin's life.
Shortly after Dad's death, Collin wrote this poem for his senior-year literature class. I couldn't read it for almost 6-months after Dad died. Now I take comfort in it. The silence in the poem echos the silence in my heart.
I Remember Your Sounds
I remember your sounds.
Rushing bath water before sunrise.
Heavy footfalls muffled by worn slippers,
A cleared throat,
Rustle of the New York Times,
Clink of the spoon against the glass
As you stir your chocolate milk
Every Sunday morning.
And your music!
Thick fingers at play upon the piano keys,
Hands gliding over the piano keys,
The air swelling with piano music.
The low rise and fall of your voice,
Confident, thorough, reasonable.
The house is so quiet, now.
I remember the creak of your
Computer chair, and every time I see that
It is empty, my blood
The house is so very quiet.
I jump, heart freezes, at your heavy slippered footfall
On the stairs, but
It is only my cat.
The house is fucking silent.
I want to hear you play the piano again.
I love you, Dad. I miss you.