WE BEGIN OUR INITIAL DESCENT

I put my hand on his shoulder                                                                                                  there is no flesh there                                      he wrote a note                                                  we never know when it will be the last time                                                                         Dad it’s always only                                                                                                                          the first time nothing                                                                                                                  goes so distant as to break                                                                                                             and nothing we have touched                                                                                                         is ever finished

in this convalescent hospital                                                                                                     there will be no convalescence                                                                                                    this last time                                      not for the first time                                                          he said I love you                            and I said I love you                                                              I might have hugged those jutting bones                                                                                    I went out the door and got on the plane

bones more than anything want                                                                                                    to be tenderly touched            they pretend to be finished things                                          saying goodbye we didn’t touch                                                            that’s what it means to be an adult                                                                            to have  power                                to withhold

it wasn’t that no it wasn’t

I don’t know why I didn’t  press my flesh against those surprised bones                                                                           I do know

there is something in touch that draws a conclusion                                                                                that brings us down to earth.

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7 responses to “WE BEGIN OUR INITIAL DESCENT

  1. Oh, Richard, you caused tears.     Made me feel LOVE,   too!!! With love,    Joanne

     

  2. too beautiful.

  3. Beautiful! Powerful! Evocative! And timely: I’m reading Roz Chast’s “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” Thank you.

  4. There is nothing I can say. I love you, dear brother.

  5. Thanks, Richard.

    John Norton 444A 14th Street San Francisco, CA 94103 415-863-4158 (office) 415-558-9066 (cell) jnorton100 (Skype)

    Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 01:10:48 +0000 To: jnorton100@hotmail.com

  6. Francine Schwarzenberger

    You say it all so well. Thanks.

    Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 01:10:48 +0000 To: francineop@msn.com

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