on father’s day.

for Hannah, Stephanie, and Lindsay

I will not say that I know how
you feel, because there’s a man
still breathing in the other room,
watching TV while his heart pumps blood
through his miles of veins.
I still have him, maybe for decades,
maybe for an hour. I don’t know.

And I will not say all the things
that are true, but ring hollow when they
drop to the ground: He’s in a better place.
You’re going to see him again.

Because while we believe
in the resurrection of the body,
the life everlasting,
that death is gain,
for you, here in time and matter,
there is still a space where he should be,
left empty like a loosened screw in
your machine. And sometimes it feels
like the whole thing could explode at any minute.

There’s so much I could say
but won’t, because it would just
be my vain attempt to piece things
back together with glue and scotch tape.

But what I can say is that
you are loved nonetheless,
by him (although he can’t show it anymore),
and by so, so many people–
all the people it takes to make up for him.

So miss him. Mourn him.
Set up a stone along Jordan’s shores
to remember him, tell generations his story
and your own. Stand there a while
and cry if you need to.

I’ll be here, holding the tissues,
hoping I can stand as firmly as you can
when it comes time for me to do the same.

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