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By Seb Parker
As a child, I'd sit at the table
In the kitchen with my mother, both
Listening to my father’s after-dinner
Stories of the old country, of his
High adventures, as he smoked his cigarette.
Smoke wafted to dissipate, rough
Words sliced by the ceiling fan
To nothing. "One day," I’d think to myself,
"I’ll rise up to such impossible glory."
But there isn't really a story to tell,
Not to him, now, when I pay him visits
In the chemical stench of the hospital
Where he has had his laryngectomy.
I wait; he turns; he mouths, half-paralyzed:
See what can happen to you? See?
Barely intelligible, before drifting
Back into a peaceful morphine dream.
"Yes," I whisper to this sleeping man,
In a sterile room, who cannot hear me.
© Copyright 2004, Seb Parker, All Rights Reserved.
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Document last modified on: 01/06/2007