Thursday, June 4, 2020

Seventh Day

Take me home, said General James Mattoon Scott,
ending the only movie the son saw tears
in the father’s eyes,
glistening in the incandescent light, tears
the father neither hid nor acknowledged.
Powerful, the father said, and the son agreed.

The father had always seemed remote
from the son and from himself. Feelings,
he would imply now and again –
never using the word – showed weakness.
The mind had to be strong to control them.
Comfort, he’d convey – never verbatim –
was dangerous indulgence, weakened the mind.

They last spoke, briefly, at a great distance,
father not recognizing son’s voice or name
yet the lawyer in him, polite, pretending he did.
He needed a favor, he said gently from the nursing home
he thought was a doctor’s office: Come get me.
Take me home.
                                                                                                     m.d. paust