Slanted rays of the late afternoon sun

gild the dust motes emancipated from

the mohair cushions by my sudden settling,

intrusive and possessively on their long tranquil couch.

Rising in the reddened rays they dance

in chaotic patterns, like miniature

birds rising up from their cover.

Some invade my nostrils with traces and places

of my father, hinting of sojourns

with his beloved Buick while he could still possess

his share of the highways,

and of his furtive sessions behind the wheel,

pretending the state would still let him drive.

I smell fragments of chocolate kisses from

floating flakes of untwisted tin foil wrapped

around his forbidden, high cholesterol treats

he had hidden in the glove compartment,

but from whom?

Mother, already gone, no longer policed his diet,

and his progeny were too engrossed

in our obligations and his grandchildren

to monitor the poisoning of his blood

from risky treats nor would we forbid

occasional life shortening cigars,

we could taste with his kisses.

I could not smell one wisp of tobacco smoke

here in his refuge from a youthful society,

so I realize he would not poison its upholstery

with the tell-tale tarry smoke that

had tortured and surmounted his lungs.

I copied the mileage from the odometer

so I could place an ad in the paper,

extolling Dad's treasured Fleetmaster's

low mileage and pristine condition

on the back of a receipt for a casket

and blurred the numbers with fresh tears

How could I sell his car?

Why did we not seat Dad in his beloved Chevrolet

and bury them together in the ground instead

of in a satin lined funerary box

wearing a suit that no longer fit?

















Copyright � 2005