new poem “unwarm” published in FREE LIT Magazine, please check out this creative online journal, many talented writers & artists
This piece is based on the night my father passed away. I can’t believe it will be a year this November since he left us. On the night of my dad’s death, all emergency responders were nothing short of amazing🌹
was it your choice
choosing sleep to die in
I watched them
watched them dad
in your mint bedroom
trying to make your chest say something
while your mouth was bound with elastic
and a pump shoved down your throat
screaming in my head
leave him be
it goes on like this for an hour
or nearly so
not pronounced dead
until the white sheet
in the emergency room
was that for us
was that for you
maybe for them
I kissed your cheek
not entirely unwarm
you look good dad
As a child, I never cared for dolls. My inner-tomboy wouldn’t allow it. There was however this one special baby doll, that my father brought home on a dark night long ago. Oh, she was beautiful. Her silky brown hair was fashioned into pixie and she had dark, malted milk-ball eyes. She wore a simple blue dress decorated with one little yellow daisy. She was the first doll I’d ever seen with eyes and hair like mine. It was love at first sight.
But my younger sister wanted the new doll too. She needed to add the brown-eyed beauty to her massive doll collection. My sister feared her sibling’s unusual desire for the plastic newcomer. She realized claiming her divine doll right in this situation, might be ineffective. My younger sister employed a more sinister tactic – she cried. Her blue eyes were quite convincing.
My inner-tomboy nearly relented that evening. Except as luck would have it, my inner-tomboy fell out of her upper bunk bed onto her head, ironically while showing off how far she could lean down without falling. She cried too – which she didn’t do often. My father who was within earshot came running in. In that tear-ridden moment, I asked for the brown-eyed, baby doll. Gazing at my pathetic face, my father told my sister she had more than enough dolls. And for the price of one head bump, the only baby doll I ever coveted was mine.
Sadly, I can’t remember what happened to my precious doll. Many years later, while at a younger brother’s high school graduation, I spied a beautiful, brown-eyed girl gripping a dirty, bald-headed Cabbage Patch Doll. She cupped the dolly tenderly to her shoulder. The afternoon sun was lighting her flawless face like an angel. I took a photo.
I came home that evening, took out my pastels and drew a cherished childhood memory –