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  • One More Story

    Who is this old man, trousers rolled,
    Tottering about the home of my father?
    My father, vigorous, strong, who carried me on his shoulders, and
    Told me stories of tigers and rocketships.

    Now I reach out and take this old man’s arm so he does not stumble
    And fret when he descends a set of stairs.

    I see my father still, hidden behind those eyes.
    A flash of defiance at the passage of time that has rendered him
    Fearful and forgetting of his own children’s names.

    “I barely recognized you,” he says to me
    With wonder in his voice. It has been
    Sixteen years since he was any more than a voice
    On the telephone and my hair is now red
    And my cheekbones could cut paper.

    He talks, more monologue than dialogue
    Telling stories of his life I have never heard before
    As if he can see the darkness that comes for him
    And rushes to speak the story of his life
    Before the door closes and there is silence.

    I would reach out and take that trembling hand
    To keep him from crossing that threshold just yet.
    “Tell me about how you met Mother,” I say
    and then, “Tell me about the time…” for I fear that
    silence also, when my Storyteller, the One who
    cared me to bed and tucked me in with words
    falls silent.

    Tell me one more story.
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