Tuesday, June 12, 2018

"Gone" by Mary Soon Lee

Gone
Mary Soon Lee

The words weren't at the hospital,
all those long days Gary sat
by his dad's bed, listening.
     
He just wanted a couple of sentences--
the clock's hands wound back
for one more joke about the Pirates
throwing a ball game.
     
Afterward,
he cleaned out his dad's house:
pillows steeped in tobacco;
thirty-year-old jackets
almost in fashion again;
fishing rods lined up like soldiers;
boxes of intricate handmade baits;
a house full of things
saying their last words.

Poet's Notes:  This poem is about a fictional character but draws, inevitably, on my own experience of my parents dying. The details are different--no tobacco, no fishing rods--but the emotions are universal. Reading an article entitled “A Million Words” by Dave Barry, about his own father dying, triggered the poem. It was a grief-stricken piece in a book of humorous articles, and it was heart wrenching.

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