From Wolfgang to Leopold

Stop.

I cannot imagine too much more of this:
in dreams, in waking moments in between
the breaths and along-side the twelve steps
and the five stages of anger, denial, bargaining,
the flipped coin depression or acceptance.
None of the sons were to be found,
but did the holy ghost’s wry banter

stop

when you found the father dead
among the roses and the avocados,
looking like he’d Rip Van Winkled to the land of nod,
knowing that at best, the east side
of Eden (because it had better schools)
would have been his preference anyway;
and that after sixty years or so of constant
on the go and in your face, the vitriolic rage for life would

stop

and in the silence, you could breathe,
take in your own dreams with the quiet air,
surround yourself with life support
that didn’t offer side effects?
And all the comparisons, the undercuts,
the constant stream of in your shadow
footsteps could just

stop

and wave goodbye, Dad.
It’s been ten years now; my sister still
gets crazy this time of year.
We’ve got our own lives now, grown up
and tired of being yelled at,
even if the voice we hear is not
really there. Please

stop

and wave goodbye.

Was on the third of September
That date I’ll always remember, yes I will
‘Cause that was the day that my daddy died.
— “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” The Temptations

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. — Krishnamurti

08 DEC 2002

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