i’m so confused.
those were dad’s last words
almost five years ago
that i wasn’t there to hear,
that i wasn’t there to answer,
explain, hold. mom was there.
she was always there, hadn’t
left his side in all those years.
and now he was leaving hers,
going on ahead, scoping things
out like he would a store,
restaurant, parking spot.
i was hundreds of miles away
driving through rain, trying
to get there; trying to speed up
time, slow it down, stop it.
we got the call somewhere in
west virginia. we pulled over
into a gas station where i cried
and shook and wiped whatever
was coming out of me into my arm.
yeah, i knew he was sick. yeah, i knew
he was dying. but that doesn’t make it
any easier when it actually happens, ok?
the man who gave me life just died.
he knew i was coming, that i was on
my way. maybe my spirit arrived
ahead of me, scoping things out, like
a store, restaurant, parking spot.
yeah, maybe i had been there after all,
saying it’s ok to be confused; we’re here —
echoing back to him what
he had said to me months
earlier, what i had
everything’s going to be ok.