Lessons My Father Never Taught Me

Lauren Lubas

 

Ninety years old and

can’t control bowel movement.

Stepping away, if only atrophy

did not make such swift improvement.

 

He knows I am crying,

but not what crying is.

His tears spring

from fear of the fire

he smells from WWI.

 

The heart monitor says

he’s slowing

slowing down.

 

I prepare the bed

sheet to cover him

—it won’t be long now.

 

And his dying words to me

went something like this:

“If no one else is here

then it is you I’ll miss.

 

And if a dying breath

breaks your page with pen,

know only this:

love does not exist

in the hearts of men.

 

I love you.”

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790