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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > Maudlin

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 Posted: Sun Oct 27th, 2013 02:45 am
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timmy
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Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Oz, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1077
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Mana: 
Watching father as he smoked
his Pall Mall straight next to the garage
attached to our little yellow house
two blocks from the railroad yard,
all the boxcars metal-pinioned
together like giant centipedes,
and me not really talking,
just watching him, not knowing
that later he would melt
into Alzheimer’s like a Hershey bar
left in my pocket back in 1965
 
The way he leaned against his rake,
one handed, like a rumpled scarecrow
and together how we both watched 
the yellow and orange fire
of raked and burning autumn leaves
dance and sway in the swirling dark
smoke of November

All I knew was that our silence at that moment
was like some kind of trap door, and only later,
much later, when my name stopped escaping his lips
because of the Alzheimer’s, all the things
I thought I knew didn’t do me any good 

I wanted to warn him about his cigarettes 
and mother with her asthmatic lungs,
and all the job changes, and the house changes,
and the gambling, but I didn’t know how: Christ,
I was only eight, and I just didn’t know how

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