Swimming in My Father’s Eye

For My Father
April 25, 1921 to April 12, 2011

All the years
you would not look at me
Now here
in fullness
on my face

this gaze unblinking
brimming with silent
And I the one who cannot
gather you in

Familiar infant eyes
the nursing Mother.
milk flows.
baby sucks and
within the circling arms.

I do not hold your dried out Body
you are not there, 
my Father. my Son.
I sponge your mouth with glycerine
slip ice across rime crusted lips
lean in to smell the sweet breath passing
from the dark cave of your mouth
where you wait with Lions now asleep, and Bears.

Their animal young awake
stir words in my breast
some story spins,
some story that needs telling rises in my throat and pours itself into your fixed stare:

There is a path that does not
exist but lies well lit before you.
See? See?

As, turning from your eyes
you leave
black New Hampshire ponds
the shining wilderness kind with no bottom,

I live to swim.

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