Outside, the rain wraps black branches
like white wet gauze
while I sit in a puddle of lamplight
writing my father’s obituary.
He lived long and easy , still dreaming
of a ranch in the foothills
horses for the grandchildren
long after the rugs had been removed
so he wouldn’t break a hip.
He smelled of Vitalis
and Old Spice
wore a striped tie
every day but Saturday, always
smiling his white-grinned blue-
eyed smile. At Christmastime,
he’d bring home a tree,
hide it in the garage for a surprise.
He could make his biceps bounce
in time to music to amuse us
or whisk his belt off in fury
like a whip. He was a force
that mellowed with time
like winter softening into spring.
But an obituary is naked facts:
date place survived by—
flat as a hospital bed.
How can I say how can I tell you
he was the wild sky cracking thunder
the rain lashing down
the roof that kept us dry--
About the author:
Suanne Fetherolf lives in New Jersey where she earned her M.A. at Drew University. She teaches English and creative writing. Her work has appeared in such journals as Spoon River Poetry Review, The Milo Review and Isthmus.