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Happy New Year! I wish you all good things in the coming year.
Thank you for your continued good thoughts with your comments here, on Salon, in emails and on facebook. I am so moved and appreciative of your kindness.
Below is a poem I wrote years ago about my dad. The excerpt in my memoir grew from this:

The last time I saw you,
you were lying in a hospital bed,
in a room with bright,
too bright, green and yellow walls.
Inappropriate colors intended
to console the sick, the dying.
And as you slept,
curled beneath a white sheet,
I watched you breathe, willing you to.
Your face, still so tan,
against a pillow, too white.

I thought of your morning sounds,
the front door opening softly,
you walking on the back
of your slipper heels
to get the paper,
a cough,
your spoon tapping the side
of the coffee cup,
and how I lay awake
in my room beside the flower wallpaper,
surrounded by all the things
that mean so much,
when you're ten,
and listened to your sounds
comfortable in their familiarity,
secure in a world where,
"Fathers do not die."
Walking on the heels of my slippers,
Tying ribbons in your black hair,
(red was especially nice).
You-a little boy
in a grown- up suit,
me-too small to see
anything without standing
on my toes.
Wiping your forehead dry
when you got sick,
until you got too sick, and
I could do nothing.
And that wallpaper I remembered
as a child,
paled against that green.

And now, years later,
reduced to monologues with ghosts
and this never ending private
slide show.
These images of you
flashing too quickly,
You on the dock,
laughing so hard with your brother,
you fall.
You playing cards with Dick.
You beside your new car.
You and you and on and on
until the screen goes black,
because you are,
no more.

And the wallpaper peeled,
and there was nothing behind it,
only this and the smile you left
in an 8X10 frame.



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