A friend shared this with me on father’s day.
I wish I were the author.
I wish I didn’t know what the author speaks of.
by Faith Shearin
Sometime after I turned forty
the fathers from my childhood began disappearing;
they had heart attacks during business dinners
or while digging their shovels
into a late April snow.
Some fathers began forgetting things:
their phone numbers,
which neighborhoods belonged to them,
They had a shortness of breath,
the world’s air suddenly too thin,
as if it came from some other altitude.
They were gone:
the fathers I had seen dissecting cars in garages,
the fathers with suits and briefcases,
the fathers who slipped down rivers
on fishing boats and the ones
who drank television and beer.
Most of my friends still had mothers
but the fathers were endangered, then extinct.
I was surprised, though I had always known
the ladies lasted longer;
the fathers fooled me with their toughness;
I had been duped by their jogging and heavy lifting,
misled by their strength when they slapped
me on the back or shook my hand.
I kept imagining I would see them again:
out walking their dogs on the roads
near my childhood house,
lighting cigars on their porches,
waving to me from their canoes
while I waited on shore.
. . .