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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

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