I’ll never forget the day—
After doctor visits
just me and him or with other family
in hospitals and waiting rooms,
examinations, procedures, and treatments
hours spent in fruitless and unavoidable worry,
we finally got the doctor’s
last words on the matter;
Whatever they decided to do
whatever dad accepted to be put through
he didn’t have much time to be here with us,
they were sure they couldn’t fix him.
My life moving on felt like
a betrayal to dad who’s life was coming to a close
and everything was heavier.
Still, I continued doing what I knew I had to
placing everything I could on my automatic list,
with breathing and swallowing
because everything I thought to do
became easier to just skip it.
And then one shimmering
breezy September afternoon,
I was driving alone when I laughed aloud
and had to admit it—
I can’t recall the song, joke
or thought that brought me to it,
but that was the day I knew
that even through my profound grief
over the impending loss of my father,
in my soul I would eventually know joy again.
©2009 Shari Lynne Smothers
Prompt: Write a poem about a memorable person or event. Day 30 of the 2009 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, from Poetic Asides.