(June 2005) Father’s Day is so strange now that my father is dead. I try to think about him, his role in my life and what I’m grateful (and not so grateful) for, but it mostly just feels like a big hole that he used to fill with his goodness and his badness and his deep connection with me, for better or for worse.
Since last Sunday was Father's Day and this past Sunday was his birthday, he's been on my mind a lot. So here’s a poem for my father:
FOR MY FATHER
by Elise Partridge
Remember after work you grabbed our skateboard,
crouched like a surfer, wingtips over the edge;
wheels clacketing down the pocked macadam,
you veered almost straight into the neighbor's hedge?
We ran after you laughing, shouting, Wait!
Or that August night you swept us to the fair?
The tallest person boarding the ferris wheel,
you rocked our car right when we hit the apex
above the winking midway, to make us squeal.
Next we raced you to the games, shouting, Wait!
At your funeral, relatives and neighbors,
shaking our hands, said, "So young to have died!"
But we've dreamt you're just skating streets away,
striding the fairgrounds toward a wilder ride.
And we're still straggling behind, shouting, Wait—!