My father never said he loved me,
Except on his death bed through cracked lips.
The stench of cancerous death rancor,
Hugging the memories and the tears.
He had a peculiar smell about him,
A mixture of cigarettes, whiskey, age,
Not unpleasant but uncomfortable.
There was a clamoring in his passing
Something unseen pulling at his body
Until there was nothing left but a shell.
When his failing lungs finally gave up life,
It was with a sigh escaping a gasping mouth.
Death is not pretty, it is a morphine stupor,
Life slipping, hastened by a drugged nightmare,
Dulled feeling, the inability to nod to reality.
The touch of where there once was pulse,
A simple choice of words, “Well, he’s gone!”
Still, after all these years the words echo,
Flailing in a darkened room of my mind,
Trying to find a finger hold, a grasp,
But they cannot for their utterance was,
Too late, too overshadowed by death.
That halting whisper, dulled by an antiseptic pallor,
“Son, I love you,” is there truth here…is there?
The question is a stone to carry, its weight burdens life.
Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour