Tuesday, April 21, 2020

My Last Photo of Dad

Who knew, on that hot day last August,
the same day Dani arrived in the world
(after only 18 minutes in the hospital)
who knew, as Dad sat there in his hospice bed,

half-way across the state of Massachusetts,
who knew, when I said to him, “Dad, I’m gonna
take your photo now, pretend you’re holding Dani in your arms.”
Who knew that I would be taking the very last photo I
ever took of my Dad.

And who knew when he cradled his arms together
so lovingly, as if he was indeed holding
Dani’s precious little head,
who knew that the two of them would meet in a 
time of poetry, in a STILL POINT
devoid of clocks, in the
forever of now
in a garden of bee balm 
and roses and bleeding heart
and black eyed Susans.

Some day, when both of them are 93
and they sit together in that stunning garden
where they both glow with light,
Dani is as grey haired as Dad,
and they speak of Dina, 
and Dad folds his hand over Dani's
just the way he took my hand
the day he walked me down the aisle,

and Dad says
"My darling Dani, do
you know that you were
named for my
beloved Dina?

We were married for
66 years and oh
that used to seem like
so much time, but
now that I am 93
and you are too
it isn't much time at all."
And then he sets one
hand gently on Dani's head
and he recalls all the cascading
rolls of shiny black hair
that Dina had back on her 
wedding day in 1949.

Dani arrived on August 6, 2020
and Dad passed nine days
later. Now eight months ago,
but wait. Dad is still so
much here in our hearts.
He watches as Dani 
follows, literally, in the
footsteps of her 
great grandmother --
Dina walked at nine months.
At eight months, Dani is
balancing, balancing, a
breath away from standing
on her own. And she is
climbing stairs and 
trying to talk.

And if she could speak,
she would tell us
all about her meeting
her great grandfather
in a photo where she 
lay in his arms, staring
up into his eyes.

And much later, in a poem,

"Letter to My Brand New Granddaughter."

And in that gaze, and in

that embrace and poem,
the generations came
face to face
and collapsed into one time
one place one space
of Infinite LOVE.

No comments: