I wanted to call this poem death
Or dying
But I hesitated
There is a denial
Or a ban
Against the concept
And the reality
Of life's end
But the last year has been real
Death's reality
For the first time
In my life
And so even the plural of this title
Denies what I mean
Which is a specific
A specific
And though I may not
Will not
I may
And see
The mirror image
Of a life well lived
A great life
A loving life
A fatherly life
And the tears that well up
When I write that line
The involuntary left thumb
Picking at left pinky
The sigh
The tension
The release
I see more clearly
In the reflection
What I so often missed
The joy of a man
Who I loved
Who I feared
Who I trusted
Who I felt misunderstood by
And whose heart
My heart
Finally started to feel seen by
Too late
Too sad
Too strained
Too little language
He lives
Through me
My father