from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (32)

after dad died

I would wear his shirts

they were too large

for my adolescent body


thin wisps of skin 

like spider’s silk

drift in the wind


each new mask adhered

to and was shaped by

the one that came before


my feet are numb now

as if on fire


as the ground slips away

I grasp for space


I don’t know how I got here

or where I’m coming from

I’m tired and out of breath

I need to sit down 


when asked I don’t know

who I am or where


I think of my father

and how he died gasping

for air drowning in phlegm


and my collar grows tight


(February 24, 2020)


  1. johncoyote says:

    The people we loved and who loved us. We never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. subtextures says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. My father died 42 years ago this week. It becomes a part of you for a long time, at least in my case.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. johncoyote says:

    Powerful words shared. I lost my father on 21 January 2020. I gather his photos, books and his poetry. I understand the poem. We try to grasp part of someone.


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