On Peculiar Days

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The facility director greets the residents with a smile,

listening to their sadness like an echo, over and again.

The music in the hallways is an out of tune concert,

an improper note into their splitting unhappiness.

The visitor who discovers his father’s secret in old age

and is unsettled. Resists visiting, and this resistance is

the silence revealed in their interactions.

The father’s deliriums include past lovers, imaginary or not,

because the man no longer recognizes anyone, anymore.

Grieving, laments having abandoned them.

The son, on his part, cannot cope with this aging

homosexuality, unable to love his father like before,

or even take sides against his mother on a whim.

Thus the question suspended,

how is your father today? a respiro,

breathing pause, in their peculiar days.

Poem published in Sassafras.