Monday, February 2, 2015

poem of the day 02.02.15

in a quiet living room in vermont

in a quiet living room in vermont
we are drinking coffee instead of beer and wine
the hoosac range of mountains sits behind us

it is very idyllic

you are on the couch talking to your father
about your mother’s impending cancer treatments

it is a necessary conversation no one wants to have

but here we are in a quiet living room in vermont
having it anyway

until your father stops talking to click his tongue
holding back the tears

he says, at least she’s still alive

then goes back to clicking his tongue
as you move closer to comfort him

i watch the two of you, father and daughter
the way that you’re stroking his hand as he stares forward

jesus christ, this is the one of the saddest things
that i’ve ever seen

i feel like i don’t belong here
in this quiet living room in vermont

that this is just a moment for the two of you to get through

maybe i should get up, i think
go get myself another cup of coffee
go outside and stare at the wind turbines atop the mountains

but then i think about the cancer inside of you
how i’d rip it out with my bare hands if only you’d let me
how i want to take your hand as well

and i’m paralyzed where i am

this cancer that we can’t even tell your parents about
because it’ll kill them

i start to well up at the thought of everything
this world is putting you through

my wife, my lover, and my very best friend

when your father looks at me and smiles
he says, it’s all right
it’ll all be all right

just as a pack of teenagers come in from outside

breaking the melancholy
of sitting in a quiet living room in vermont

with all of their welcome noise
their boundless life and their dumb humor.


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