I wrote this poem last year, some four years after the death of my father.  It seems strange, but no matter how much I tried, I couldn't write about it earlier.  I just choked, gagged, and neither my brains nor my hands seemed capable of movement, of forming words to describe the experience. I was finally able to assemble a few words, and I know I have so many more walled up inside me. The following words try to describe the very last time I saw him, when I knew he was on his deathbed, and I was never going to see him alive again.

Gone Daddy

 I lie next to him

turn my head to kiss his cheek.

Don't, don't, it hurts

It hurts when you touch me.

 I turn my head, stare

with clouded eyes at the ceiling.

Unspoken words arc the night

return to earth to unknot their syllables.

Daddy, I love you

            I love you too.

Like hibiscus drenched in rain

my heart blooms.

He lies quietly

his breath, fluttering.

©Shery Alexander Heinis

Shery Alexander Heinis