Thursday, September 18
Deep in Daddy’s closet, my cell phone vibrates for the third time.
This time I answer.
Pam, we need to dress your father today.
Can’t find his new shirt. It’s here somewhere.
Maybe he wore it.
No, he was saving it.
Got one here he can use.
No. I’ll bring one.
Inside the home that is not a home
but a house made to look like one,
I hug Daddy’s clothes like they are him
until Tim came for them.
new cotton t-shirt and briefs,
fresh-laundered, pressed white shirt,
tie that teased out the undertones of gray-blue eyes,
travelers-creased, slate-gray wool pants,
1.5-inch, mahogany belt,
silk sport jacket patterned subtle pink and lavender rose,
white socks (elastic loosened at the top),
and size-13AA dress-black, tennis shoes.
Uh…we don’t need the socks and shoes.
A piece of me breaks deep inside.
Friday, September 19
I slip from outside cool crisp Fall air
to inside heady funeral scent—
Stargazer lilies and myrrh of roses.
Take a hard left at a sofa that does not invite,
and without knocking interrupt family business—
Tim, long blue-jeaned legs stretched
across desk top and his father, stiff and straight
in black suit, talk computers.
I hold out the plastic wrapped white shirt.
He’s already dressed.
I don’t mean to make more work for you. I’ll do it.
Umm…we can’t disturb the body once dressed.
Bobby, diener who collected my dad from his last breathing place, steps through the doorway and saves us all.
I’ll take her, Tim, to her father.
Only he’s not my daddy anymore.
His spirit that filled and colored his six-foot frame,that voiced
stories and songs, that engaged in a glorious foot-race with Death
left a few days ago.
I found your shirt, Daddy.
And my Daddy answers the way spirits still hovering do
…and I did as Daddy would do.
See you tonight, Tim. Oh, by the way. I got the shirt on him.
Tim unfolds legs from relax to tense and hits the floor running
with me close behind, plastic-wrapped white shirt behind my back.
Daddy laughs in me.