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Nicotine Punch

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  • Nicotine Punch

    He left us at the end of March with white straw hair the look of starch.
    We knew he wouldn’t always stay- “Nothing’s forever, kid,” I can still hear him say.
    We grew up crowded by his many devotions, musical instruments and religious notions,
    paper structures taped with Scotch- our house in the making- we loved to watch.
    Crystal radios and military gear, computer monitors and bottles of root beer.
    Pipes with tobacco and cigarette smoke, the smell of hot coffee until he awoke.
    Woodworking tools were always squealing; books about everything heaped to the ceiling.
    He kept strange hours while his brain kept ticking- always distracted by some historical clicking.

    Though in his world he existed as one, occasionally he’d emerge for some fun.
    Those days were brilliant, as brilliant as his mind, and on those days we’d paint and grind
    and swim and camp and hammer and nail. We’d tackle any task as large as a whale.
    He’d drive us to many faraway places, historical sites and military bases.
    Then his brow would lose its crease, his eyes would lift while our hearts found peace.
    His laughter would boom and swarm our space; his calm, strong energy softening his face.
    But those days were few, those moments rare- his world too abstract for children to care.

    Four months’ notice was all we received, but from that day we sat and grieved.
    I pushed back the tears from my eyes, as the eldest child I led with guise.
    He didn’t talk about his farewell; he laid upstairs in his quiet hell.
    I didn’t get to ask him questions… about his past or artistic expression.
    There were no more words, just a heavy still- a vacant space we didn’t fill.
    He couldn’t breathe; his lungs were charred. Those cigarettes left his insides scarred.
    To lose one’s life to a cylindrical master was indeed a complete disaster.

    Though four months passed with arduous pain, his very last night was calm as rain.
    The full moon rose and cast its glow as my father’s soul floated through boughs of snow.
    Now I sit in my own creative mind, wondering what those extra years would find?


    Heatheraven, New Paltz, NY



  • #2
    I lost my father through lung cancer too, that 'cylindrical master', so I can really relate to this poem. Thanks for sharing this.

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    • #3
      Sorry for your loss heatherraven, Bobydelboy, New Paltz, NY

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      • #4
        Loosing a parent is truly hard, especially if your young in my opinion. I lost my father to lung cancer when I was 21, he was 49. I lost my mother to cancer when I was 33, she was 55. It was a lovely poem. I do so hope by writing it, you feel a bit better. I know it has always helped me.

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