May 8, 1924… Dad

Today would have been my dad’s 88th birthday. He died a few months ago. From Alzheimer’s. Some of you might think it just old age – it was not. It was the slow thieving by a disease from a man whose hindsight and foresight were first stripped from him, then left as in a concentration camp to lose the remains of insight and dignity, and further reduced in time to feeling for things he thought might still be but could no longer touch or smell or put his hands around to grasp, much less to speak. This is for him; write me yours.

Happy Birthday, Dad
     by Randy Mazie

I say good morning, dad.
Touch his pictured cheeks, 8×10,
and blue-vulnerable-now-glossy eyes,
framed, like they might still be alive.
The wood surrounding him is soft like when
I remember him not being in a box;
or sad, his seated like a unseen king
upon my mantelpiece.

(I whisper, “Happy birthday, dad.”

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