Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Sunday

My father died many years ago, but every Easter Sunday, I remember the one that prompted this poem below.

And the Scilla are Blooming Today, Too

Easter Sunday

“Crocus” is just another one
of the words my father can no longer
remember. He asks my mother,
“What are the colors of those
little flowers by the house?”
He is bald from surgery;
seven metal clamps shine
at the back of his skull. My
mother says seven is the number
of perfection Every time
he whispers we lean in,
hoping for grace. Once he says,
“cranberries.” He whispers,
“I am glad I have two grandmas.”
He whispers, “It is good to be in
out of the cold.” He is given
communion at his hospital bed,
the paster remarking on my father’s
strong grip as he takes his hand
for the benediction.

The scilla are blooming on the
hillside. At my desk, I order
sage and tarragon for another
summer. It is the first night
of daylight savings and the
sunset is rampant. “Who is
this happening to?” he asked me
today. “Is it happening to you?”
“No, it is happening to you,”
I answered gently. He patted
his hand to his chest and said
knowingly, “It is happening to you.”

I seal the envelope to the seed company,
stamp it, prop it on my old bronze
lamp for mailing. Then the cry comes:
Recognize me, Father,
Call me by my name.

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