Would catch at the feather of his hand
but would miss it every time,
like that golden ring as you’re flashing by,
miss it like it wasn’t even there.
Eventually even fathers are shadows, but less particulate,
like mist, like transient vapors in a midweek’s dream;
less than the easy chair on which he sat ( red plush,
cushioned, where I, as a child, would leap),
less than those late night plottings, long lawyer pads-full
of jotted ideas, pseudo-scientific attempts
to reconcile all futures with his singular past;
scribbled lines, a calculus of economic thought
that was almost right, and never entirely wrong,
and that still I occasionally unearth
from where they lie like tombstones: in dusty drawers,
in niches beneath our attic stairs.
How fugitive this seems: unwritten, unwriteable, an epic in a toddler’s mind.
More whimper, I think, weak as a summer breeze, wandering
dizzily through an empty street,
a sudden inspiration that is as quickly snuffed,
an evanescent empathy, as untouchable as a distant star
and could never ever have been known.