Will Thomas


My Father Died


In the middle of the summer,
when I was twenty-two
and wore sneakers with no socks
and was growing my first beard,
my father died.

In the middle of the summer,
when my son was one years old
and lay in his playpen
in the hardscrabble grass of the backyard,
making living sounds
and grabbing for fistfuls of air,
my father died.

In the middle of the summer,
days before somebody walked on the moon,
days after the bright-colored beginnings
of my daughter's life,
my father died.

In the middle of the summer,
when, as a father,
I first sat out on the porch past midnight
listening to the haunting, faraway comfort
of late-night, west coast ball games,
and the tender wisps of breathing of my own two babes,

in the middle of the summer
when I first had trouble sleeping,
and before we had the luxury to know
each others' hurts and hollows,
hopes and heartaches,

in the summer of 1969
(several sad and sorry seasons
beyond the end of his living) ,
my father died.

As did,
as did a part of his boy.

Submitted: Sunday, December 18, 2005
Edited: Wednesday, August 25, 2010

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  • Rookie Michael Gale (3/27/2006 12:01:00 PM)

    'Several sad and sorry seasons' was a very nice working of words.This poem is so sad and a nice living tribute for a very well missed father in a son's life.
    Life cannot exhist, but with death.Death cannot exhist, but with a given up of life.
    Memories are what we have of that is left, which in turn will reunite us with loved
    ones in death. God Bless All. An excellent poem. Best regards-Mike Gale. (Report) Reply

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