… His lilting Irish song snippets / Greeted passersby …
In a wheelchair in the hallway
Amid nurses in purple scrubs
His lilting Irish song snippets
Greeted passersby. His blanket
—NY Giant fleece in Florida heat—
Was curled on legs now thin as arms
Which once stood strong at six-foot–two
But not since March. And it was May.
He thought the spoonfuls of turkey
I fed him in baby pieces
Were hilarious, but then he
Was full after three. Halting words,
Heaved in shrapnel shards, detritus
From shattered memory mosaics,
Their only sense grammatical,
Replied that he was doing fine.
He craned his neck to call Aunt Peg,
—Long dead—there on the small sofa.
And as always, more than ever,
My welled up eager beggar’s eyes
Sought Dad’s look of recognition.
Since you are here…
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