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When his mind grew empty
and his heartbeat slowed to a vague stutter,
our father no longer walked his fields at night.
He did not call to say, “Look at the moon. You have to see it.”
Even grown, even when his authority rankled,
we had obeyed.
Mind empty, he lost hold
of hurts he had suffered, the unrequited loves.
Shame that had festered seemed to heal.
We could not follow him to that country
of no nationality, no creed. None of us but
his granddaughter, who had gone before,
though sometimes we nearly met him there
in a vast silence that covered the world’s persistent hum.
His melancholy had prepared the place
since those blue boyhood afternoons
he stood on the back porch,
borrowed violin tucked under his chin,
bow scraping the open strings.
Copyright 2019 Luray Gross. From Lift published by Ragged Sky Press.