Memories can be sweet and painful.
You were a box
on our family room book shelf.
A box made to look like a book,
brown leathered with a binding.
It was a faux book,
with a lid that opened
and held precious contents,
sympathy cards from your dearest friends.
Some had pastel flowers,
pinks, violets and pale yellows;
others printed on rich parchment paper.
All held expressions of heartfelt sympathy and condolence.
You were taken early,
when my father was still young.
I would take the book down,
in quiet moments, and ponder.
what kind of cookies
would you bake me.
Scottish short bread
after my Grandfather’s heritage
or ones shaped like shamrocks
What stories would you read me while
I was nestled in your arms?
Tales of the leprechaun,Don’t like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free
or, my favorite, Pooh Bear’s adventures.
My father, passing by,
would pause and give me a look,
paternal but soft,
a melting of his manly pose.
And, I thought of him.
How did he feel
to lose your warmth and comfort
just when boys ought to become men?
I pondered death,
a sense of fear deep in the chest,
but also of mystery
as deep and wide as the universe.
It wasn’t until much later in life
that I realized your death
touched me in another way.
It tinted my father’s love for me.
Love, for sure,
but without touch, without tenderness.
A frosted pane,
variegated and spidered with ice crystals.
He never spoke of you,
his coffined chest.
Memories of your illness and pain.
Pulling back the syringe to draw up the morphine,
and then giving you the shot,
relieving you of what his love could not.
I would then replace the book back
on the shelf with a sigh.
My father’s wound