The man who will die
Some day oh daughter, resting next to me
You will hear the breath of the man
Who will die. One day, not today, you will see
In my eyes finally the glance of a person
Who will not live forever as I saw once
In my father’s gaze, still piercing
But unable to break a veil of loneliness miles
Away where his wife sat up suddenly
Remembering only his name and not
Those of her sons or daughters. As I heard in her
Breath of resignation one day when words
Would not come and the unsayable sentence
Dropped over her head like a hangman’s hood.
But not this breath. Though for several years
I have heard it in my own breathing
Or seen it in the eyes studying me in the depth
Behind the mirror, I will keep these from you
As long as I can. And someday, not today,
When you see them you will say nothing,
Thinking surely you did not hear what you heard
Or saw what you saw. But I will know, though
I will already have begun to forget why.
Reading together on the couch. In wordless motion
my daughter gets up and walks out of sight.
Just to the kitchen, this time, for water, but I sit quietly
and prepare, listening to her steps moving away.
End of the Day
By the end of every day I want to leave nothing unsaid
who knows when the next time to say it will be?
If it is tomorrow so much the better
I want to kiss my son’s head carry my daughters
as they sleep from our bed to theirs
though it is not as easy as it was a few years ago
and touch foreheads with each dawn
before light burns our silent words away
Hollow-boned bird on the twig of this moment
knowing that twig is not home but all there is
to perch on I want to catch up with my own
lightness full of all that wings will cover
or carry with a piece of the end of the day
to add to the nest which will be good enough
when I alight at dawn and for the dusk
I will one day wordlessly drift down to
[by my daughter Sophia]
Turtle walks around.
The forest is lined with trees.
–who made that footprint?